Saturday, July 13, 2013

Reflecting on the Road

I left the part of the world I knew to see what was new, to photograph its places, people and cultures, and to prove to myself that I could do it on my own. I was surprised to find so much more. The night I met Raul, he said to me: "You can't focus on what life hasn't given you. Hay que dar a la vida- You have to give to life, always give." That sums up my experience: When you open yourself up to it, there is beauty everywhere and human generosity that is astounding. Sure, there were difficult moments when I needed to pick myself up and keep going, but I didn't do it on my own: I was received with love when I needed it the most, I fell when I needed to wake up, and had helping hands along the way. Each moment is a possible miracle.

Being back in the States, the land of abundance, I ask myself if we've forgotten about generosity, about how interconnected we really are. Our meat is packaged in plastic, giving us the emotional space we prefer. And there's always a struggle for more-- power, prestige, individual ambition (especially in New York City). In Spanish, amibición has a negative connotation- it means wanting to succeed at the expense of others. Although I appreciated some of that Puritanical work ethic on the job in Peru, there were times that my need for success got the better of me.

Now here's the real challenge: keeping those lessons present even when immersed in the suburban American culture. And that's my next journey-- that of being present, appreciative and striving even when staying in one place.

Here are a few shots from New Jersey, New York and Shelter Island in the months following my arrival. Biggest perk so far? Family.


  1. Beautifully written, Alex. I can see how your experiences in Central/South America have given you a whole new insight. I love it. It's contagious! I will never forget the moment I saw this new light emanate from you... You had just arrived in Spain from Peru, and were so happy when you opened your luggage- you had packed a beautifully framed mirror that had survived your trip from Lima to Madrid. After an extensive to-do about the durability of this mirror and how lucky you were that it was all in one piece, something happened: I stepped on it and it broke. I was so afraid that you'd be angry, but when I told you what had happened, your reaction surprised me- you laughed! Then you went on to say how the mirror was maybe a symbol of your vanity, and that you were relieved it had broken. How very inspiring that you had the strength and humor to laugh. I'm so proud of you. Love you, Rosalia

  2. Thank you for your beautiful photographs and words that illustrate your awesome journey. Even through there were times I was fearful or concerned for your well-being, I never lost faith in your judgments and choices. As this chapter of your life comes to a close, we can see that your experiences have given you great insight into your Self and will aid you in your future endeavors. May your creativity, keen eye, and love for humankind continue to grow and flourish and may you always find love, joy, and kindness wherever you are.