Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 20: Smooth/Rough

Smooth/Rough (Sarah)

I've been chewing on these words for a while now, not able to swallow them, or spit them out.

When I first started thinking about this week's pairing, I was snapping pics of tree bark and pavements and silky fabrics. I was seeking out objects to visually describe rough and smooth. But, all I can reflect on when it comes to writing are the textures of life.

I am going through a particularly tumultuous time in my own life. I feel like I am leaning, tip-toed on the edge of a rocky gorge, unsure of myself, and most unsure of others. I don't know whether I should just plunge into the unknowing, belly-flop onto the questions and plow my way through, or, if I should ease my way down and try to avoid the roughest waters.
I'm afraid of drowning, afraid of not being able to catch my breath.

And yet, there are gasps of stillness.
There is smoothness, warmth and wading pools.
There is watching Jinu throw stones into the river, holding his soft hands, and kissing his creamy lil' cheeks.

So for now, I am hanging on tightly to the gentle moments.
I am thankful for life in all of its fluidity, always moving, ever-changing.
I am thankful for the ability to make my own choices, and for the realization that most often the choices I make lead to a certain path, and either rough or smooth, a destination.

Where is life taking you?
Where are you taking your life?

(As you can see, we rearranged the pictures differently this week and, we want to know what you think is better? The two images stacked on top of each other (like above) or the original side-by-side design where the comparison is easier to make?--We'd love to hear your opinions! Please share!)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Week 19: Dirty/Clean

Where to begin?

Hi, everyone. We apologize for disappearing for a month with no explanation. Sarah and I have both totally been neglecting the Internet these days. You can't blame us though. We've been wrapped up and enjoying our families, friends, and each other. You can imagine how nice it feels for us to be back home and we're enjoying every moment of it.

Now that we are both pretty much settled, we're hoping to rekindle our relationship with the Internet and our blog. We are going to try and catch up with the posts we've missed over the last month and then get back on track with posting once a week.

This week it's all me (Mary) and the next post will be all Sarah (you'll be able to check that out in the next couple of days).

So, we're back and we hope you are too.
We'd love to hear from you so leave us a comment below so we know who's reading! We've missed hearing from all of you over the last month.

Dirty and Clean (Mary)


While India is certainly full of beauty, there is absolutely no denying or arguing against the fact that India is one dirty place. With over a billion people and many environmental issues plaguing the country, India is in some serious trouble when it comes to the environment.

Black smokes pumps out of vehicles and fills the streets, leaving people literally blackened. I read that air pollution in many Indian cities has measured more than double the maximum safe level recommended by the WHO. The streets are a bad place to be, but are exactly where everybody is, selling their goods, eating, and living. Garbage is chucked nonchalantly onto the streets, animals are rummaging around eating the garbage and there seems to be a general lack of care for the cleanliness of the streets.

But the pollution on the streets does not compare to the waters. Pollution in India’s waters, especially the rivers, is possibly the biggest threat to public health. In Varanasi (or ‘Varanasty’ as our friend Javeed lovingly refers to it), where the Ganges River flows, the ‘dirty’ is ever present.

The Ganges, the holiest place for Hindus, is filthy. The Ganges is, ‘Mother’, to Hindus. She delivers happiness, salvation and is an intrinsic part of many devotees’ lives. They come to the river to pray, bathe, and even to die. This water is also sipped by some, which is incredible given the state the river is in.

Parts of the river are actually septic meaning that no dissolved oxygen exists. There are approximately 32 points of raw sewage in Varanasi alone, flowing directly into where people come to take their holy dips. I read that water that is safe to bathe in should have less than 500 faecal coliform bacteria (yes, we’re talking about shit particles now) per litre, but in the Ganges there are 1.5 million.

Clean up the Ganges, that’s what I say.

(And while this may seem like a bash India rant, it’s not. India’s a fantastic place to travel, it’s just not the cleanest)


Having spent the last leg of our trip in India dodging cow and dog shit on the roads, passing endless piles of smellllllllly trash and generally feeling pretty disgusting, it sure was nice to come home to a clean house, a clean bed and my neat freak of a father.

Calling my dad a ‘neat freak’ may actually be an understatement. He is an all-out machine when it comes to cleanliness and order. His motto is and if only you could hear him say this with his no bullshit face, ‘you see a mess, you clean it up!’. We live by this motto at our house.

The lawn is cut in perfect diagonal lines, the sinks are cleaned out after (almost) every use, beds are always made, cups and food are not left out and about, and the dishes after all meals and snacks are washed (by hand) immediately. Every cupboard, shelf and desk top is organized. Most often my dad can be found dusting, sweeping, and picking up dog hair and keeping the house spotless. We won’t talk about his cars at this point because really, that’s a WHOLE other story.

So tell us, are you a neat-freak or do you live on the wild side and let the mess accumulate a little?

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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