Archive for June, 2009

29
Jun
09

Places and Faces continued

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29
Jun
09

Faces and places

“The portal to the soul is through the senses and the heart.”  – I don’t remember who said it, but it seems to be especially true when traveling.

Years ago I was working on a ship with a woman who told me that in her life the greatest memories of travel were experienced within what she called “the basic four.”  The food, the music, the art work, and relationships with the native people. The concept of tour groups horrified her. “Buses and tourist destinations . . . hell, you may as well buy a stack of postcards and stand  in line at the DMV.”

Now I can be all about going to museums, seeing the sights, and having my picture taken on in the foreground pushing up up the tower in Pisa just like everyone else  – and let it be said that I can  proudly wear a t-shirt that declares: I (heart) anywhere. But I do agree that avoiding ‘template travel’ makes for a more exciting experience.  Somehow I have always gone back to the list of basics- the food, the music, the art work and the people. In those four things, every sense is fulfilled.

I find that there is something especially fascinating about the faces of  people I encounter when I travel. Everyone of them a lifetime of stories and experience. A casual encounter, a confused and often amusing interaction or conversation, and a little bit life and history is exposed.  Expressions and emotions don’t need a translator or a currency converter – and I have found two groups are especially genuine. Children and older people – they don’t pretend, they don’t act, they just are.

Following are some of the portraits I shot in Italy. Some are of new friends and others are stolen moments of people I never actually met.

Enjoy.

Carlo – the owner of the house where I stayed in Tuscany. A fascinating man with a wonderful lifetime of stories to tell. Entries on him and his family to follow at another time. An amazing, amazing man.

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Sara. Beautiful, ten, and a card shark with Uno.

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Dario. A man with a pride and passion for his native Tuscany, its people, and its history that is both inspiring and infectious. There is nothing about Siena and the entire Chianti region that this man does not know and love.

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Clara – beautiful and joyful from the inside out. A spirit and a sense of humor that require no translation at all.

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Angelo – a kind, kind man of few words.

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Francesca and her mother. Beautiful in every fiber of their souls. From them I have wonderful stories and a few secret family recipes that I will never share.

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The winning local girls soccer team and their greatest fans – their sisters. And somehow . . . Winnie the Pooh.

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On streets, trains and in stations. A story in every face. Life as it is. Awesome.

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More with places and stories to follow.

Until soon.

03
Jun
09

The Book is Complete

It is arriving tomorrow afternoon, the shipping company promises. One more day to wait for what has taken almost a year to create. I guess one could call it giving literary birth. By this time tomorrow I will be holding the 11×13  186 page collection called (named) Lessons Learned – Portraits and Reflections of a Hopeful Generation.

I cannot explain the excitement that I have for getting this thing. Once I have made sure that there are no frightening oversights or mistakes, I will make the book available and post a link on where to see it. Those of you who are close by of course are welcome to an early preview of the very first edition and copy. Perhaps a gathering is in order.

Leading almost seventy high school seniors through the publication of their own individual books – yes, single printing, forty page, hard bound, published books of personal and reflective writing as well as original and inspiring art work, has proven to be an accomplishment that exceeded everyone’s expectations. What this collection of kids has created has stunned even the most difficult and cynical critics – the students themselves. In more than just a few cases their work has left observers and readers in tears, and me on the overwhelmed edge of speechless.

This has been a reaffirming and inspiring event for everyone involved. Creativity has been sparked, enthusiasm has been re-established, and a passion and fire for the future is raging in the hearts and souls of some very impressive young people.

Well Done.

More details to come.




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