“I think that if you are honest and care about the story you are shooting, then your audience will be happy.” -Andreea Campeanu
Slow and sandy Vieques where the liveliest moments are when the roosters rise with the light. Life that is truly timed by the sun and the moon. An island that possesses beaches created by a goddesses’ vision.
Life spent here is spent fulfilled and not for someone else’s dreams. This land is one of the pages to the book that teaches me about what life should be. Clear waters that calm the mind, relieve the soul, ease the heart and warmth that heals any ailment.
My day started with a haircut but progressed into something much more. I got to meet Jonathan who asked that I take his picture, his energy: enthusiastic and hopeful with a smile that’s contagious. Guards down and an open heart. Around the corner I spotted Louis Mendes an artist (http://nyti.ms/ZhahFK) who’s picture-perfect Taking a photo of a photographer can always make you sweat a little and his “you have one shot” didn’t make it easier. He’s calm, cool and collected. Lastly, on my way home Uptown I stop at 59th St and get introduced to the audio of Malang Jobarteh, he plays Gambian Kora, smiles, sings and exposes our ears to sounds that fill the underground.
Here in New York, I get to experience those who want to share their life, who are positive, creative, warm.
Focusing only on getting from point A to point B lends itself to missed interactions and exchange. There’s a whole distance between those 2 points. While I am here ‘being’ on this level of existence I look forward to enlightening moments.
70 hours of traveling to see 8 million people in a 3rd-world country leading to a 3rd-eye awakening.
Circling back to Phnom Penh was the cherry on top. It is the Beirut of Southeast Asia, the New York City of the Orient. Fresh from a civil war, it’s a puzzle far from solved as men drive Bentleys yet infants sleep on the sidewalk concrete. Corruption in plain sight. Foot traffic that’s nonstop. Six Cambodia money-women for every middle-aged white man. The locals throw stares that may be followed by a smile. A country that gets by on charm and the want for economic and social commerce. Ox and child bathe in the same soiled pond. The country will remind you that every possession in your luggage has no connection to your soul.
Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Koh Rong and back; the Cambodia I got to meet. She’s complicated but patient and continues to survive regardless of her past and hardships.
Now back to New York, where life comes too easily. With this experience in my back pocket I can only hope to gain more understanding, patience and compassion. One step forward as to realize that my life is not meant to be lost in the daily grind. It’s to be utilized, enjoyed, remain vulnerable and most of all, shared.