As a humanitarian photographer and as a human standing before another person, I responded to this young girl’s energy. Standing in the Changankha Temple in Bhutan that is purposed to bless children and the names they are given, my heart resonated in response to her tender visage and tremendous curiosity.
What does it mean to absorb the energy of another person? I can’t find words to express it complicity or finitely, but what I learn from the experience speaks to perception. When the emphasis is on blessings, on having good thoughts about other people, there’s a ripple effect. The pursuit of goodness causes us to look for potential. Life is a mirror of our perceptions. If we look out at the world with its challenges and see opportunity, if we gaze at a young person and see the possibilities of a great teacher residing inside that tiny body and astonishing, wise brain, we pass through moments of doubt and disbelief. We find opportunities to rise above bias, judgment, negativity.
As a fine artist I see in this image the play of non-direct light. There’s a beauty to black-and-white timelessness. Stripped of the now, absent trends and flashy modern day manipulations, the image becomes eternal, universal. This girl could be anyone at any time and of any lineage. There are no limitations of culture or time, but there is a strong, pervasive sense of becoming. I emulate her “sponge-like” approach to life and the way she embodies the very idea of openness. I often say curiosity is the most important thing about a well-lived life. Think of it: everything is new and intensely exciting to an infant, who is like a tiny professor of life. I aspire to always be curious, receptive, open, observing, and desirous of learning. That to me is a gift.