Archive for June, 2012

Simple Act of Waiting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by stevemccurry

Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.
-Khaled Hosseini,  A Thousand Splendid Suns 

Tibet

Often the act of waiting is anything but simple.
Many people hate to wait because they are waiting to do something,
get something, or go somewhere.

Tibet

Waiting doesn’t seem like an act, but the lack of action;  however,
the decision to be patient and willing to wait is an act of courage and perseverance.

Crowds at the Kumbh Mela await their turn to bathe in the Ganges.  Allahabad, India

A person who is a master of patience is master of everything else.
– George Savile

Waiting for medical care. Kabul, Afghanistan

A mother waits for news of her missing son.  Afghanistan

Refugees wait in line.  Thailand

Endurance is patience concentrated.
– Thomas Carlyle

Women queue in Yemen

 Patience is the companion of wisdom.
- St. Augustine

A ballerina waits backstage for her cue. Zagreb, Croatia

Shoppers wait for a bus. Dublin, Ireland

The faithful wait for healing. Lourdes, France 

Waiting in line for a church service. Los Angeles, USA 

Waiting for the train.  India

Waiting for a bus. Ahmedabad, India

Waiting for a look through the Berlin Wall.  Germany

Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance.
- Virgil

Waiting to perform. Hong Kong, China

People count up the faults of those who keep them waiting.
- French Proverb

Waiting for customers at Amber Fort, Jaipur, India

Dog waits for door to open. Porbandar, India


The Patience of Ordinary Things
by Pat Schneider
… I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.

Cambodia

Upstairs, Downstairs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2012 by stevemccurry

Burma

For centuries, stairs have symbolized journeys, rites of passage,
transitions,
and stages of  life in art, literature, and music.

Tibet

My Soul. I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
‘Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
Fix every wandering thought upon
That quarter where all thought is done:
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul
William Butler Yeats

Italy

Stairs are climbed step by step.
– Turkish Proverb

Kashmir

Children’s stories tell tales of boys and girls discovering treasures upstairs in the
attic and fearing what is downstairs in the basement.

Afghanistan

Faith is taking the first step even when
you don’t see the whole staircase.

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Burma

Morocco

India 

Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe,
grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts,
emerges ahead of his accomplishments.
– John Steinbeck

Italy

Jodhpur, India

My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be
through Earth’s loveliness.
– Michelangelo

Italy

Mt. Popa, Burma
The stairway climbs a 300-foot lava plug crowned by Buddhist temples.

Serbia

Mother to Son
Well, Son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor –
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now –
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
- Langston Hughes

New York, September 12, 2001 

Japan 

New York

Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn’t any
other stair
quite like
it.
i’m not at the bottom,
i’m not at the top;
so this is the stair
where
I always
stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up
And it isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn’t really
Anywhere!
It’s somewhere else
Instead!
A.A. Milne

Italy

Haiku
Steep steps
Uneven treads
Life
- bmv

India 

Iraq 

India 

Afghanistan

Right as Rain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2012 by stevemccurry

During the year I shot the monsoon assignment, I learned to see it as a critically important event, 
and not the disaster it had first seemed to my Western eyes.
Farmers experience the monsoon as an almost religious experience

as they watch their fields come back to life after being parched for half the year.

Varanasi, India 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s annual monsoon rains have arrived at the southern Kerala coast,
a top weather official said on Tuesday, brightening prospects of higher farm output by aiding
farmers to plant summer-sown crops such as rice, soybean and cotton on time.
June 6, 2012

Goa, India

Rain is grace;
Rain is the sky descending to the earth …
– John Updike

India


For half the world’s people, good monsoons, those rain-bearing winds of
Asia and the Subcontinent, 
 mean life and prosperity.
Poor ones are marked by famine and death.

Bangladesh

The rains fall on one horn of the buffalo, and not on the other.
-Indian Proverb

Kabul, Afghanistan

Java, Indonesia

Nepal

Northern Territory, Australia

Tokyo, Japan

Tibet


It is no use to grumble and complain; It’s just as cheap and easy to rejoice.
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain – Why, rain’s my choice.
- James Whitcomb Riley

Sri Lanka

Indonesia

Cambodia

The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling.
- Lucretius

Porbandar, India

India

Dalit women cleaning streets, Mumbai, India

Burma

Only He shakes the heavens and from its treasures takes out the winds.
He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain. He does all those things.
- Michael Servetus (1511-1553)
Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer

Cambodia


Monsoon History
Shirley Geok-lin Lim
The air is wet, soaks
into mattresses, and curls
In apparitions of smoke,
Like fat white slugs furled
Among the timber
Or silver fish tunnelling
The damp linen covers
Of schoolbooks, or walking
Quietly like centipedes,
The air walking everywhere
On its hundred feet
Is filled with the glare
Of tropical water.
Again we are taken over
By clouds and rolling darkness.
Small snails appear
Clashing their timid horns
Among the morning glory
Vines.

Bojonegoro, Java, Indonesia

Monsoon Festival, India

For months there is no rain, and then there is too much.
Half the world’s people survive at the whim of the monsoon.

Two men try to cross a monsoon swollen river after the bridge was swept away, Goa, India

Outsiders

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by stevemccurry

Refugee Camp, Peshawar, Pakistan


While every refugee’s story is different and their anguish personal,
they all share a common thread of uncommon courage:
the courage not only to survive,
but to persevere and rebuild their shattered lives.
– Antonio Guterres

Afghan refugee, Pakistan

I know how men in exile feed on dreams.
- Aeschylus

Refugee camp, Thailand

Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me.
― Carlos Fuentes

Kabul, Afghanistan

Italy

God dances with the outcast.
– Steven James

USA

The majority of Americans, who are comparatively well-off,
have developed an ability to have enclaves of people living in the greatest
misery almost without noticing them.
– Gunnar Myrdal  

France

Gypsy Boy, Marseille, France

Gypsy Family, India

The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Afghanistan

War’s toll is etched on the faces at a shelter for the mentally ill in Kabul.

Prison, Pul-e-Khumri

Afghanistan

Seek Love …
In the darkness of night and the winter’s snow,
In the naked and outcast, seek Love there!
– William Blake


USA

California, USA

In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast.
Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that
without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.
– Quentin Crisp

USA

Thailand

 Being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.
-  Mother Teresa

USA

 India 

Philippines

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 Burma

On members of the faithful:
They receive the wretched.  They take strangers into their houses. 
They comfort the sad.  They lend to the needy.  They clothe the naked.
They share their bread with the hungry.  They do not turn their face from the poor.
  This is the kind of brotherhood we teach.
Menno Simons (1496 – 1561) Founder of the Mennonites

Hazara man, Afghanistan

Hazaras have long been seen as outsiders in Afghan society,
routinely subject to discrimination, and set apart by both their features and their Shiite religion,
in a land where the majority practice the Sunni faith.

Hazara girl, Afghanistan

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