I have a daily routine in which I read a passage of Sonia Choquette’s book Grace, Guidance and Gifts. It’s a book you never finish and in that way is a companion on your life’s journey. There a some profound wisdom in it, for example about listening:
To listen to others is…
to learn from their experience
to draw from their gifts
to bask in their victories
to grieve with their losses
Listening is expanding your own life experience.
When I was shooting for a storytelling project I am conducting these days for the city of Amsterdam, my path crossed that of Sjuul. Sjuul is, besides an awesome guy, a personal trainer and movement/mobility/Capoeira specialist. We had a chat and decided to have an impromptu photo shoot which turned out quite well. Jules knows every bit about your body’s alignement but the title of this blog has an other meaning. When things are aligned and well, beautiful things can happen, even if they are not planned like the photo shoot with Sjuul.
I recently made a photo reportage for Hulphond Nederland, a charity which provides very special dogs for people in need. Think of disabled people, people who suffer from epilepsy, PTSS and all sort of trauma. It is amazing how these wonderful dogs can improve one’s quality of life. The field in which they operate, as a permanent companion or as intervention during a specific treatment, keeps on getting broader and broader. They plan to do scientific research on the effects of a hulphond (‘helping dog’), which will boost the amount of people who will benefit from a dog even more. You can donate to this charity here. Besides being impressed by the skills of these dogs, I was very moved by the connection I saw between the dogs and their owners.
Turned inwards to look outside
Reflecting on thoughts
Sometimes with a hazy view
Ending with a clear insight
To be connected again.
Citroën 2CV’s have the ability to just go on and on while being eroded to a point you seriously wonder when they will just fall apart. I’ve owned a blue, red and white one (funny: the colours of both the Dutch and French flag) and enjoyed driving these cars so much that I still yearn for owning one….again. This particular one I spotted in Den Haag, while walking down the wet and shiny streets (see this post).
I am not a big fan of putting the leaping jaguar statue on modern Jaguar cars, but sometimes it can result in a nice picture like this one. As I was walking through the pouring rain of The Hague, I was totally silent and in the moment. I felt the raindrops penetrating my clothes. I heard how they made a ticking noise on my umbrella. I smelled the wet streets and the leaves of the trees. The streets were empty, because well, who wants to take a walk with this weather? I was. My destination the tip of my nose. The bag I carry my camera in had become soaked but be being of military grade quality (bought in a military dump shop in Berlin), I did not worry about my dear camera and lenses. I hesitated for a short moment when I saw the Jaguar, because I had to take out the Leica and take a picture while holding the umbrella. I had this look in my mind and just had to take this picture. Follow your minds eye, right? The last couple of weeks I have posted some post that are quite reflective and spiritual, so I won’t go that route this time to keep this blog random as it is intended to be. Having said that, the strong leaping gesture of the Jaguar through the rain resonates with the coping with life’s obstacles and being true to your unique essence :-).
Up to the next destination.
We all make mistakes. We all waste resources. We waste our words, our energy and our time until we pause and think deeply about what matters in our life. When we hold on tight to our views, the mind shrinks and smothers any power to love. In that state, the soul can’t breathe new energy into a situation – and everyone loses-Brahma Kumaris
To begin anew is to look deeply and honestly at ourselves—our past actions, speech, and thoughts—and to create a fresh beginning within ourselves and in our relationships with others.-Thich Nhat Hanh
This is awesome: I got interviewed by the renowned Dutch Leica photographer Joeri van der Kloet. Joeri is a friend of me too, so that’s a double whammy eh? No featured photograph this time….just check out the interview 😉