Dessert north east of Granada, Alicún

The reason I went to Alicún was to experience the energy of the dolmans that are in that area of Spain.  Once there, however, I was more fascinated by the landscape than the dolmans.  I love the sinuousness of the hills. I do realize that I could see the hills because the once fertile area had been overgrazed and turned into a dessert.  Don’t eat meat.


Carnaval in Santiago de Compostela

Three years ago a bit before Carnaval, groups came to Santiago from the province of Ourense.  Ourense is famous for the extravagent costumes they use for Carnaval.  I should have made the video then but didn’t.  Then the other day, the groups came to Santiago again.  I took videos which I did not use but which energized me to make the video at long last.

When I saw the headdresses the men were wearing, I thought they were inspired by the South American Indians.  It turns out to be the reverse.  A short time after the parade, I was in Patzcuaro, Mexico.  The guide was showing me some paintings of the indigenous  people in 1500.  I said, “This is where the headdresses come from.”  He said the Spaniards brought these with them and we adopted them.  I was surprised especially since Ourense is an inland province.  Even before all the advances in telecommunications, culture was being carried half way around the world.

The night time event is a local Santiago custom.  As you can see from the images everyone is enjoying themselves.

Bulgaria: Mountains

Mountains are the soul of Bulgaria.  They are everywhere, inescapable.  They cradle monasteries, villages, small towns.  Houses are tucked in among the trees.  From a distance they look like soft dark green velvet and has been folded and folded.

Bulgaria: Ideosyncratic Glimpses

In the 1950’s I remember my father, who travelled a lot for work, would invite people over to see his slides.  These were always very long evenings with people asking questions about what they saw and I my father explaining.  We served carrot and celery sticks with some sort of cottage cheese dip, all very healthy.  The evenings went on and on.

You will be happy to know that this video only lasts a minute.  You don’t have to ask me questions but if you do, I will endeavor to answer.

The video is called ideosyncratic glimpses because I am not, unlike my father, trying to show you Bulgaria.  Instead, I am sharing with you moments that caught my eye.   Most of the pictures are things I have photographed before and I am so happy to find them again in Bulgaria that I take the picture.

Bulgarian Church Paintings

This August when I visited Bulgaria, I took some pictures of the religious paintings.  Since I didn’t use a cell phone, I observed the please do not take pictures signs.  My camera makes a very loud noise as the mirror swings back and forth.  None-the-less, I was able to take a few pictures.

The very contemporary Virgin and Child at the beginning of the video was painted by Teofan Sokerov.  He was privileged to paint the entire Patriarchal Church of the Ascension.  Unfortunately when he completed the project in 1985, the Church fathers decided they didn’t like the Virgin and Child so they never consecrated the church.  It is at the top of the enclosure of the Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Turnovo, the midieval capital of Bulgaria.

The brightly colored images are from the porticos of the Rila Monastery.  You may notice in some of the pictures that there are three levels, at the bottom, hell; in the middle, earth; and finally heaven at the top.

The remainder of the pictures are from the Church of the Nativity, an Ottoman era church in Arbanasi.  Once again the same division of space is followed on the iconostasis.  There are two really unique paintings, the wheel of life and the explanation of the trinity.

Flowers Don’t Cry

One day when I was looking at the Astromelia, I noticed the petals were dropping but they still looked pretty so I took a picture.  Then I remembered something Jeffrey Yuen said in class one day.  He said, the Chinese say, “Flowers don’t cry when their petals fall.”  I thought WOW, that would make a great 15 second video.  I would take pictures every day and voilá.  (Yes, I am studying French again.) I was struck by the beauty of the flowers as they withered and the petals fell.

The video turned out to be 34 seconds but still not a burden on the viewer.  Luck was with me when I started to record the voice over.  WKCR was playing “My Favorite Things” performed by John Coltrane, what an auspicious coincidence.  I let it play in the background.  Remember flowers don’t cry when their petals drop.

Flower Portraits

This little puff piece came about because when you run out of photographic paper and inks, videos save the day.

One of the lovely things about the market is all the flowers for sale.  Some days, I get so enthusiastic that I buy so many flowers that I run out of places to put them.  At first,  I was just putting flowers in the entrance and the meditation room but after a while I decided to put them in the treatment room, then my studio, then my bedroom and finally in the living room in front of the dancing tree.  Some of you might remember this tree from DC.

When I put the flowers in front of the tree, I began to enjoy how they worked with the background.  Eventually the tree became like an old fashioned photo studio backdrop.  Then I had to add the living room to the places I routinely put flowers.

Here are some of the pictures I took.



What did we do before ?

When I have extra time to wait when I am in an airport I often take vidoes of what is going on around me. You may remember the conveyor belt and Manchester airport at 5:15 AM. This one was taken at National Airport which serves Washington, Dc this past July.  Cell phones and laptops have really taken us over.  I can remember when there was no place to recharge a devise.  Now there is even excess capacity.   So what did we do before?  Talk to some one? Read a newspaper, magazine or book?  Be bored? Be annoyed? How did we manage to wait for planes before all this technology.