A long time ago, on my first trip I traveled to countries where people speak English, a language I understand. Did I make this choice out of convenience? No, I think it was thefear of the unknown – though I would not have admitted that at the time. My world was small, and leaving it was a big deal.
I had no idea how much this journey would change me. At the time I began taking pictures, and so there is photographic evidence.
This is what the world looked like during ‘my wonder years’.
Sometimes events are so vast that they redefine my world. When I took this picture, “terror” was a vague term for me. I was a child. Something happened. Afterwards the meaning was clear.
Now I have to think about the true meaning of “war”.
War is back. The aggressor tries to hide it behind fancy names and lies. But an avalanche of pictures and reports show its true face – even if you are in denial: A war is raging, killing and destroying. A new era of history has begun, because this is a new kind of war. A nuclear superpower has attacked and threatens to use nuclear weapons.
And no one knows how this will end.
A war machine has been unleashed to suppress freedom and hope, before our very eyes. The world was stunned, but now it is watching and documenting, and preparing for a reckoning. While all nations are grappling with a global pandemic and the effects of a changing climate, a single government has put its own imperialist interests before anything else. The world will have to deal with the aftershock for decades to come.
I rediscovered a long since retired laptop. On its desktop I found this scan of a photograph that I took on my very first trip.
What car was I driving? Was anyone with me? I do not remember. But what I do remember is seeing the yellow blossoms on the roadside. I stopped. I took this picture. On film. I loved it.
And somehow I forgot about it.
Here it is again and it brings back memories. Memories of someone who is long gone, and a world that is long gone. Time molded them into me and the present. I remember how curious I was about all the places and all the people waiting for me in the future … Well, I have been to these places and I had the great pleasure to meet all these people.
Writing this feels like leaving a message for myself, to be rediscovered many years from now.
I am still curious: Who is waiting now? What places? Who will I be?
They say, that a crisis shows us who we really are.
Why? Because during a crisis things get worse. A crisis signals danger and triggers our basic instincts and our deepest fears, even if there is no real connection between those fears and the actual crisis. Our reaction to a real crisis is undisguised and true.
When the pandemic started, science gave us a forecast of what was going to happen. We did not really listen. When the facts started to mount, we looked the other way, hoping that it would pass us by. It did not. We learned what the term Global Crisis really means … at least some of us did.
I am surprised how many people ignored and still ignore evidence and chose one of the many alternative realities to look for explanations, and stick to it even when it maims or kills them. What does this tell me about how Homo sapiens will handle the predicable future … the changing climate for example … ?
Is there a reason why there is only one science. I guess the reason is, because there is only one truth.
Why is it so hard to listen to scientific knowledge?
Do we not listen, because the truth is scary? Hidden agendas may play its part too. Political interests. But also ignorance, denial and wishful thinking.
Why do we evolve the hard way, when there is an easier one available that is less painful?
When the pandemic struck, I went to the woods. The world and its problems faded away, became a persistent rumor. Is it really out there? I’ve become a local. And more months will rush by, before the vaccines will downgrade the virus to just another infectious disease, that might kill me, and I can travel again.