Monsoon Meditation

The monsoon season has arrived.  Amidst the grey skies and the smell of rain in the air, I found myself going through the archives and found this series of photos that I’d almost forgotten I had taken.  I remember that day vividly.  The person I loved had just left and I walked around with my camera knowing that I would see his shadow in every frame I take.

There it was before me, a gathered crowd, loud noises, a scene of a beautiful mess.  Instantly I felt love towards what was in front of me, this tragedy.  Perhaps because it reminded me so much of my own and those who are close to me.

I watched them as they performed.  I watched the reaction of curious onlookers, the cringing faces of foreign tourists, disapproving, yet unable to walk away from the attraction.









Recently the governor of Jakarta made the performance of monkey mask in the city illegal.  The authorities made attempts to purchase the monkeys to rehabilitate them, and also equip the owners with new skills.  More often than not they prefer to move outside the city where they can still perform or sell the monkeys to fellow monkey mask performers where higher price can be fetched.  Some, however decided to join the program and attempt to obtain a new life.

Humanizing human is not an easy task but at least there was a first step.

It was the entire imperfection and ugliness of the scene that day that moved me, recognizing that everyone has their own story of imperfections and ugliness themselves.  Visible or not.

We have been indoctrinated to chase happiness and avoid pain.  But no one ever told us that pain is as necessary as sun shine, for us to be able to actually live.  Really live, learn from it and finally be able to taste and see all the sweetness and joy that life has to offer.


Posted in Documentary, Portraits, Social Issues, Travel Tagged , , , , .

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