Archive for March, 2012

Weathering the Elements

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2012 by stevemccurry

Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light.
Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky.
Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Rajasthan, India

The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.
– Joan Didion


I think we are bound to, and by, nature.
We may want to deny this connection and try to believe we control the external world,
but every time there’s a snowstorm or drought,
we know our fate is tied to the world around us.

– Alice Hoffman


March 22, 2012, is World Water Day.
Reports say that drought, floods and a lack of fresh water may cause
significant global instability and conflict in the coming decades.


Varanasi, India

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

Kabul, Afghanistan

Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head,
and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.
-Saint Basil

Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, India


Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, Marrakech, Morocco

Northern Territory, Australia

Rain! whose soft architectural hands have power to cut stones, and chisel to shapes of grandeur the very mountains.

– Henry Ward Beecher

Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Rajasthan, India



Machen, Tibet


New York, New York, USA

Logar Province, Afghanistan

 The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient.
There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only.
– Joseph Wood Krutch


Young Girl in Snow, Kabul, Afghanistan


The substance of the winds is too thin for human eyes,
their written language is too difficult for human minds, and
their spoken language mostly too faint for the ears.
– John Muir

Finding the Sublime

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 14, 2012 by stevemccurry

 Rajasthan, India

For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.
T.S. Eliot

Yamdrok Tso Lake, Lhasa, Tibet

What are the scenes of nature that elevate the mind
and produce the sublime sensation?
…the hoary mountain, the solitary lake,
the aged forest and torrent falling over rocks.

– Hugh Blair, lecture notes from 1783.

Dal Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir

Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless,
so that the mind in the presence of the sublime,
attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the
failure but pleasure in contemplating the
immensity of the attempt.
– Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason



Bayon, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Lives of great people all remind us, we can make our lives sublime,
and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Preah Khan Temple, Angkor Wat, Camboida

Inle Lake, Myanmar/Burma

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Agra, India

Kathmandu, Nepal

Rajasthan, India

Thrissur Pooram, Kerala, India

Weligama, Sri Lanka


Greatly begin.
Though thou have time, but for a line, be that sublime.

Not failure, but low aim is crime.
-James Russell Lowell

Gujarat, India


Road to Sarobi, Afghanistan

Maimana, Afghanistan



Rajasthan, India

Four sublime states of mind  taught by the Buddha:

Sympathetic Joy

Sri Lanka

Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Built with translucent white marble and inlaid with gems from China, Tibet, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Arabian peninsula

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain,
are two of the world’s most iconic buildings.
They both evoke passionate emotions, even love, despite being
on opposite ends of the historical and architectural spectrum.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Constructed with a steel frame covered with titanium sheathing

In both buildings shape, size, scale, proportion, texture, color,
and light work together to sublime effect.

Basel, Switzerland


To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.
William Wordsworth 

No Greater Joy

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6, 2012 by stevemccurry

There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.
– Sr. Mary Rose McGeady

La Esperanza, Colombia

Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service,
and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their
personal happiness.
-Leo Tolstoy

Katmandu, Nepal

Shared joy is a double joy
-Swedish Proverb

Pul i Khumri, Afghanistan

To get the full value of a joy you must have
somebody to divide it with.
– Mark Twain

Rome, Italy

Jaipur, India

Let a joy keep you.
Reach out your hands and take it when
it runs by.
– Carl Sandburg



A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning,
as if supported by the rays of the sun,
a bird settled on the fire escape,
joy in the task of coffee,
joy accompanied me as I walked.
– Anais Nin


Find ecstasy in life;
the mere sense of living is joy enough.
– Emily Dickinson


Joy is not in things;
it is in us.
– Richard Wagner


Joy is the serenity of heaven.
– John Donne

Mumbai, India

 Rajasthan, India

We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
– Joseph Campbell


My mind to me a kingdom is,
such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
– Sir Edward Dyer
1543 – 1607

Holi festival, India


When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

– Rumi, 1207-1273


 In time of care and sorrow, keep a fountain of joy alive in you.
– Dietrich Bonhoffer

This woman lives joyfully despite her poverty and physical disability.
Vrindivan, India

And Joy is Everywhere;
It is in the Earth’s green covering of grass;
In the blue serenity of the Sky;
In the reckless exuberance of Spring;
In the severe abstinence of gray Winter;
In the Living flesh that animates our bodily frame;
In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright;
In Living;
In the exercise of all our powers;
In the acquisition of Knowledge;
in fighting evils…
Joy is there Everywhere.

– Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941
Nobel Prize in Literature, 1913


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