Thank you for all the gifts
The ones that I asked for, the ones I didn’t ask for
The ones I didn’t even know were there
That cup of cocoa
That night train across the mountains
That uncontrollable anger
Those boxes under the Christmas tree
The dark butterflies of helplessness in my stomach
Those uplifting words just when I needed them
Those crushing words that still resonate in me
You were doing your best, I know
I received them all
Bound as we were by this
Unbroken chain of transmission
Textures speak to that deeper part of us that reacts and wakes up to sounds, touch, color, light and shadow. No words needed. Words can describe, explain, interpret, justify, but the emotional connection is already there.
Running my hand across the bark of tree trunks as I find my way into the forest, my eyes closed.
In the mountains, I’ve felt at peace, exhilarated, grateful, exhausted, scared, lost. I walked endless trails that took me way out of my comfort zone. I found myself up on the mountain, in the wild, as it was getting dark, wondering how will I make it back down. I found myself in danger (just because I’ve put myself in danger) and felt my life hanging on a thread. I found myself so incredibly at peace with everything out there, me included. I felt that I belong.
I spent a few days in Amsterdam attending a workshop on visual storytelling. I have a special interest in storytelling so I was quite excited to sign up, especially as the workshop was held by a photographer I knew and admired.
There are borders that are meant to keep people in. They prevent people from traveling to see how life looks on the other side. When you see something different, you compare and evaluate. Terms of comparison are threatening for regimes that are built on delusions of grandeur and uniqueness: “Why would you even want to go out? This is the best place to be anyway!”
It’s starting to get dark. All of a sudden, an evening breeze breaks the almost perfect silence of the forest. It moves millions of leaves and brings them to life. There’s a cosmic sigh carried by millions of voices. A long out-breath. A muffled voice trying hard to pronounce something.
I cannot understand what it says but somehow I know it’s something that concerns me. And you. And anybody.
I am starting a weekly series focused on stories built around single photos. I will keep all stories under 100 words. Being concise is a skill, probably one of the most difficult to acquire. Stories can be directly linked to the photo (how it was taken, what was happening) or they can simply use the photo as a writing prompt.
For today, I chose this grainy photo on a windmill in a small nature reserve close to where I live.