I was born in a city and for the most part lived and worked in urban environments. Once in a while, my closest encounter with nature was to spot a scraggly sprout of grass trespassing in one of the pavement cracks.
On vacations, the states in New England exchanged sights of spiking tall buildings with miles of continuous mountains. Tours of the savannahs in the eastern coastal states swapped wide fields of grass for the sample size lawns of suburban life back home. I loved the variety each offered.
I was not prepared nor even knew what to expect of the rice paddies in Asia. Other places may share the hypnotic green color of the young and maturing rice, but I have not been to those places to see it.
I took a six hour bus ride from Bangkok to Surin. Fields of rice grew within miles of the Surin business center. My destination was an area about an hour away.
The only rice I saw before my visit was already steamed or fried. I learned a great deal on my first walk through the land. The length of the grass first caught my attention. I focused on the narrow view to absorb the transformation this plant takes en route from seed to market.
But the hypnotic effect, at least for me, was when I raised my eyes to take in the wide-angle view of the glowing green fields. There is stillness and a beauty as magnificent as some of the paintings I have paused before in New York museums. Each blade of grass was a brushstroke that merged on this Thailand canvas. I even thought I saw a trace of Van Gogh in some of the paddies’ galleries.
I am drawn to the fields as much as I am to the city where I live.
A silhouette is mysterious. It is an incomplete profile of a person or object. The image gives a partial view by definition.
Often the contrast between dark and light exaggerates the intrigue. Other persons, other elements may be subplots in the frame, but it is the silhouette that draws us in.
A young girl sat on her knees. With legs folded underneath her and at rest above the motion of the water and the bathers, her silhouette suggested an air of confidence. She sat alone under the cover of trees at a place where many seek exposure to the sun. She turned her view to the length of beach, ninety degrees difference from those who stared toward the sea or walked back to their seats and blankets.
To the right of the silhouette just beyond the range of the viewfinder, the little girl’s parents sat angled toward the sea and their daughter. The scene now seemed complete. I took another photo as she posed without effort. I resumed my walk but looked back once more to enjoy the view.
As much as I enjoy the company of friends and family, some time to be alone is what I ask for myself. It is the time I have to realize what the blessings are and the time I have to measure curses with my own calculating tools. It is a chance to think back a moment on the day’s pleasures and on yesterday’s as well. It is an opportunity to enjoy the present, the feeling of the moment and the sights and smells and sounds around me. And sometimes it is a slice of time when I am able to focus on a single topic or nothing at all. Perhaps, I seek these minutes and seconds when I think I should change gears and re-route or after reading the compass, to feel comfort in the discovery that I am traveling the right course.
While riding along the highway between Riyadh and Bahrain, I saw a camel above a large sand dune. The animal was a welcome sight amid the lengthy stretch of barren desert.
Saudi desert east of Riyadh
We give and take. We come and we go.
We lead and follow.
We work and rest.
We find the company of friends and strangers
And if we choose, take the time to dream.
Perspective imposes impressions of the magnitude of events and surroundings. From a point of observation, we view our world through macro and micro lenses. The size and importance of what is in view depend on the contents of the present and the past. The impressions of the observer and the experiences of participants both matter.
From Edgewater, NJ to lower Manhattan
Free Spirit is not restricted by expression…
It expresses itself in attitude and approach to life and to each other.