In the heart of life

dan-eldon-4Dan Eldon is my hero. He died at 22 while photographing the Somalia civil war, ironically in an attack originated by the United Nations. Dan is the person that satisfies my quest for the foundation of moral, he said: “Man’s inhumanity to his fellow man is due to ignorance, not intent. Children must be taught not to hate.”

I used to wonder why people, such as journalists, would put themselves in professions that may cost their lives. So I tried to work as a human rights journalist for a very short period of time. Then I understood – in the middle of extreme danger and inhumanity, I always found some heroic acts of people and tremendous compassion. The job of telling the stories then became natural. In such moments, I found my way to my both vulnerable and fearless heart; and I had never felt so alive.

– Skye

A place that scares me

An imperfect moment 

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I have a habit of screening through pictures, years of pictures, maybe once every week. I have always looked for the perfect moments in the past. For some reasons, I have an ideal version of the past – it is always perfect.

I was born a perfectionist.

I live for the beauty. I have even created some scenes that might just appear in fairy tales. In thousands of pictures, I always dressed up perfectly; the scene was always magnificent. Venice was private, despite millions of fellow travellers. Paris was filled with love, albeit our wicked fights. Even London was always sunny. Someone said I would make a great stage director.

I often ask myself – Is my mind too busy that the present moment never seems so beautiful, until a few years later when I sit down and look at the pictures?

In my present, nothing is ever enough. Some little success has taught me a lot – I felt nothing but emptiness standing on the top of a mountain that I had tried so hard to conquer for so many years. What I thought was “happiness” (perfection) has also taught me a lot – No flower was perfectly beautiful; no moment was perfectly perfect – until a few years later when I sit down and look at the pictures.

I always feel so jealous of the person that carries my face in the images – she always looks so happy and successful. She has everything that I truly desire, although the moments, in reality, were quite imperfect, according to my standards.

At one point I was so overwhelmed with life just going completely different from my plans and expectations, I just sat down…

I sat down and wrote an imperfect book of science (my Master thesis) that had a deadline attached to it.

Then I sat down again…

I sat down and allowed myself to enjoy a full Sunday.

Then I sat down again…

I sat down and texted people – “I am sorry. I think I overreacted!”

Then I sat down again…

I sat down and just listened to someone for hours then told him: “Your stuff is important. I am here for you!”

Then I sat down again…

I sat down and planned some celebrations.

I sat down and breathed!

Staying in the place that scares me the most – (beautiful) imperfection – has been the hardest thing to learn. And I am progressing. Thank God, I am making good use of the lessons!

– Skye

Meditation on Preparation

Louvre; Nike von Samothrake

One can never be prepared enough to be Alexander the Great, one can never be prepared enough to be the President. Similarly and realistically, you can never be prepared enough for the new, the bigger, the greater, and lots of times the unimaginable.

What is in the word ‘Preparation’?

Preparation is the art of building your stairs, gaining altitude (or flying for the first time, in case your preparation means a balloon). Preparation is to equip yourself firstly spiritually, secondly mentally and lastly technically.

Planning takes time, thinking takes time. The pursuit of happiness is meant to be a selfish design process that might take years, decades, solitude, blood and tears to produce a lot of false prototypes. However, the pressure and pain are truly worthwhile, for the sake of a majestic and elegant diamond you are meant to become.

It is true you can never be prepared enough to be. But once your preparation gets you to the place where you thought you desired, you should be prepared to execute bloodily with grace, like the Romans.

– Skye