Thursday, May 27, 2010

Week 12: Wet/Dry

Wet/Dry (Mary)

Southeast Asia has two seasons: the hot & dry and the hot & wet. We’re currently baking in the hot and dry season and really craving a little rain (although, sadly, we likely won’t experience much of this until we get to Sri Lanka in July).

During our three months of traveling in this hot season, we’ve experienced the dry, dryer, and driest areas of this landscape. Fields are brown and sun-scorched, dust swirls in the streets (and into our nostrils and eyeballs), lakes evaporate and the earth cracks and crumbles.

Soon, the rain will come. New life will sprout up, the air will clear and the ground will drink its fill.

What is it that quenches your thirst when you feel parched? What fills you up?

Wet/Dry (Sarah)

I don't have anything to say about being wet or dry really, they both have their time and place.

But the thing I do see in both of these images is the way that the sunlight transforms something simple into something lovely.

There have been several moments in my life that I have looked at something that I've seen many times (and perhaps never taken proper notice of before) in an entirely different way. The way an object or person is illuminated or cast into shadow, the atmosphere, the sounds or smells that are present can all play a role in how you see something, or someone.

When was the last time you saw a person, place or thing in a different light? How or why did it change? Was it you that changed, or them, or it?

"The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it" Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week 11: Hot/Cold

Hot (left: Sarah)

All I can think about is one of my mom's most infamous lines ... "I'm not evil, I'm HOT!". Any woman who has ever had a hot flash just might be able to relate to that. Anyone who lives, or ever has lived in Korea in the summer just might be able to relate to that as well. It's hot here, damn hot. Sweaty, sticky cracks and crevices hot... uggghh, I shudder to think about the season that is just around the corner rearing it's ugly, steamy head.

I don't do well with super hot temperatures, but one way I can handle the heat is by way of delicious, spicy food... and this country also has that in abundance. These hot red peppers find their way into many dishes and sauces. YUMMMMMMY!

Cold (right: Mary)

Heat envelopes me; a tight grip. It takes the air from my lungs and forces me to attempt deeper, longer breathes. I can only bear it in short bursts. Everything sticks. An icky film forms and a drip of sweat slowly makes it's way down my forehead before falling to the floor.

These are the (all too frequent) moments where I find myself manically searching for relief. To remind my body that it's not aloud to spontaneously combust. Relief may come in a glass or a cone, a pool, river, ocean or pond, and if we're really lucky, it can be found in a hotel room coming from within a sweet little box, pumping out cool refreshing air.

The glorious cold, how I love it in all it's forms these days. I love how it feels against my skin or as it makes it's way all the way down into the depths of my belly. Absolutely brillant on a day, just like this one.

(Currently in Ho Chi Minh City AKA Saigon, Southern Vietnam. Temperature around 38 degrees)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Week 10: Constructed/Natural

Constructed (left: Sarah)

When I think construction I see 'manmade' and when I think manmade vs. natural, I seem to recall a conversation I had with my father many moons ago. I know, I sound ancient. I digress...

The gist of the conversation was something like this. What makes an apartment building, block of houses or a grocery store any less natural than a bird's nest, or beaver's dam or a hole for squirrely's nuts? We humans are animals too after all, building shelters, storing up food for the winter and feeding our young. Sure we have better technology, and more complex brains, but we are still animals.

We are a part of nature, using materials and principles derived from nature to build and expand.

And, as I type this, I question ever having had this convo, or if I just somehow dreamed it up. (Dad, care to confirm?)

What's your take, what do you consider to be natural, or constructed, or are they one and the same?

Natural (right: Mary)

When I hear the word ‘natural’, I think of beauty, or at least my idea of it. I think of a genuine smile, dense forests, billowing clouds tumbling over mountains, kindness and creatures big and small.

I think of this planet on which all of the above can be found. From Mother Nature to human nature, and the ways they interact, I am humbled and awestruck when I take the time to see.

What have you seen lately?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Week 9: Love/Hate

Love (left: Sarah)

There are so many loves, aren't there? Love of self, love of others, love of things and love of love. There is romantic love, platonic love, familial love... the list goes on and on. When most people hear the word love they think romance ~ bleeding hearts, love letters, and writing names in the sky.

Romantic love is a slippery one for me. I guess one could say that I am lucky to have loved and been loved several times, and I suppose I am. It is what they say, love is blind, but it is also big, beautiful and aching. It's a tightly braided chain, twisted with impossible and so much possibility.

The absence of love can crack you into a million stinging pieces. It can haunt you with what ifs? and hows? and whys?.... ahhhh love, sweet, sweet love.

A mother's love is all tangled up with pleasure and pain too. Your child's pain becomes your pain, and their joy, yours. It is boundless and ever-growing. On the day Jinu was born I feel like I woke up from a lifetime of sleeping. I was born that day too, a totally new person - a purpose, an advocate and a lover of something, someone so much greater than myself.

No matter what type of love we are referring to, to me love is comfort, it is where you feel at home.

Hate (right: Mary)

I’ve come to dislike quite a few things while traveling.

Such as bugs (especially mosquitos and ants) in places they don’t belong, constant sweatiness, being dirty, explosive diarrhoea, long bus rides (with piercingly loud screeching music), inappropriately behaved tourists, littered garbage (especially in the sea), the extreme heat, pimples, slow internet connections, dirty beds, bad smells, a constantly itchy nose, turbulence, et cetera.

But, these things don’t really represent ‘hate’ for me. Sure, I would say that ‘I hate the heat’, but I wouldn’t mean it, not really. Hate is too powerful a word, too strong an emotion to be used for these insignificant things.

What I really hate, is arrogance and bullies. I hate liars. I hate pollution. I hate that poverty and hunger affect so many millions. I hate narrow-mindedness, intolerance, and the violence and wars they cause.

This photo is of a collection of UXO’s left in Laos from The Secret War; a proxy war, supplied and supported in part by American forces hoping to gain leverage during The Cold War.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Week 8: Day/Night

Day/Night (Sarah)

This is one of those things I love morning, noon or night. Coffee. And, more specifically this delicious warm liquid slinking it's way into my belly while I am curled up in a cozy chair and gazing out a window. I love coffee shops. I like them dimly lit or bright and buzzing.

I love the smell of freshly ground beans, old perfume and the hint of conversations past still clinging to the walls. Coffee shops are full - full of people, full of noise or full of quiet, full of stories... often open, and always inviting.

It's a place for friends old and new, for first dates, and last arguments - for opening doors and closing others. It's a place for the 'regular' or a happenstance passerby. It's an escape or a refuge. A place for cramming students, writers, readers and artists alike. It's for people seeking people, or for people seeking space.

Day or night, where is your soft place to land?

Day/Night (Mary)

It’s neither day nor night that I look forward to most in my day. It’s the in between time. It’s the just-before day break or that still moment on the brink of night fall. It’s when the sun is either peeking through the clouds, just up over the horizon, or sneaking back down to make way for night, that I most enjoy.

In the early morning, when people start to emerge from their slumber, and the world begins to wake, I feel most excited (especially given my current circumstances of having no job and no requirements). I have the whole day ahead of me, a blank canvas and a few fleeting moments as the signal of that day. The possibilities are endless.

At dusk, on the other hand, when the sun has only just retreated, I feel equally excited, but in a new way, in a relaxed way. Most of the day has passed; everything is turning from that soft orange, into a pale, dark blue. Some things begin to quiet, while others just transform.

It’s during dusk and dawn, that I usually find myself reflecting. Sitting back, relaxing and taking in all of the wonderful things that are happening around me. They’re my favourite times of the day.

What about you? When do you find that time to take a moment?

About the Project

As a way to stay connected through our travels and beyond, A Perspective Project was initiated by the desire to master our cameras, and to be creative and more observant of the world around us.


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