Food for the Soul

Conversation is food for the soul.
– Mexican Proverb

Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Omo Valley, Ethiopia

 The great secret of succeeding in conversation is to admire little, to hear much;
always to distrust our own reason, and sometimes that of our friends;
never to pretend to wit, but to make that of others appear as much as possibly we can;
to hearken to what is said and to answer to the purpose.
– Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790



The first ingredient in conversation is truth, the next good sense,
the third good humor, and the fourth wit.

– Sir William Temple, 1628-1699



The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another’s observation, not overturning it.
– Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton, 1803 – 1873



The great gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves than in drawing it out of others.
– Jean de la Bruyere, 1803 – 1873



 The character of a man is known from his conversations.
– Menander, 342 – 292 BCE

Poet Khalil Khoury, Baghdad, Iraq

Poet Khalil Khoury, Baghdad, Iraq







Conversation. What is it? A Mystery!
It’s the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest,
of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all.

– Guy de Maupassant, 1850 – 1893

Lourdes, France

Lourdes, France




The most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation.
–  Michel de Montaigne, The Essays: A Selection, 1533 – 1592












A single conversation with a wise person is worth a month’s study of books.
– Chinese Proverb





Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.
– Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea



In my opinion, the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is in conversation.
I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose,
I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice.
– Michel de Montaigne



The very act of preparing and serving tea encourages conversation.
The little spaces in time created by teatime rituals call out to be filled with conversation.
Even the tea itself–warm and comforting-inspires a feeling of relaxation and trust that fosters shared confidences.
Emilie Barnes, If Teacups Could Talk



The highest good is prayer and conversation with God.
– St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, 347–407




Steve McCurry in Omo Valley with men from Surma Tribe

Steve McCurry in Omo Valley with men from Surma Tribe



95 Responses to “Food for the Soul”

  1. sondessa Says:

    excellent ,very inspirational !!

  2. […] Conversation is food for the soul. – Mexican Proverb Omo Valley, Ethiopia The great secret of succeeding in conversation is to admire little, to hear much; always to distrust our own reason, and s…  […]

  3. It’s a journey that makes me proud to be a human being when I see your pictures.

  4. Pamela Bailey Says:

    Brilliant!! Thank you so much!!

  5. Thank you for sharing your work, Steve, so thoughtfully selected and coupled with beautiful words.

  6. I’m in love with your soul. Will you marry me?

  7. great work, very inspirational 1

  8. Hi Steve, I just couldn’t remember how I came by your web pages, I bookmarked it some time back and simply forgotten. I clicked into it today for curiosity to see whas it all about and why I thought it was significant enough for me to look at it again… its come back to me…the photos and associated cultural symbolysms are just awsome….after a bad day at work, your images just simply fill me with a sence of optimism and my problems are just nothing in the context of the bigger picture of humanity. I wish I could fit in your shoes and do the walk that you do……

  9. Your work gives me a sense of hope — That we all still have a desire to connect, to be understood and of all, to care for others. Thank you!

  10. … and the quotes are so soothing & fitting!:-)

  11. Your photographs are SO rich. They tell stories without words. So glad I heard of you by word of mouth.

  12. Sveva Manfredi Zavaglia Says:

    Wow!!! i love your work!!! if you’re interest to do an exhibition in Rome, contact me! all the best for your great Art full of soul!!!!!

  13. Gr8 collection… thanks for posting…

    Whenever I think of 2 person conversing, your photo of 2 men sitting on a bench comes in my mind…:)

  14. Reblogged this on What's She On About and commented:
    I don’t know how Steve McCurry captures humanity so consistently, but I’m glad he does. His portraits let me peek into others’ lives around the world – when I was younger I used to lust after travel, though I no longer have the same pangs, I love being reminded of a time when I did want to go everywhere and see everything.

  15. rafael10031 Says:

    Thank you

  16. Not only is there great content, but there is a very sensitive and respectful approach. To me this is the first and main thing. This can transcend the work of any photographer with, let’s say, a lesser talent.

  17. Anna Maria Says:

    Beautiful photos, complete with phrases that touch the soul.. The conversation is practically help for those who are alone…united all

  18. more Islam…

    […]Food for the Soul « Steve McCurry's Blog[…]…

  19. Reblogged this on Oxford School of Photography and commented:
    More from the great man

  20. mari9944 Says:

    What we miss in precious moments, Steve retrieves for us.  Marietta

  21. Silvio PADULA Says:

    …Wonderfulll! I’m still hungry…

  22. sergio dorantes Says:

    Steve McCurry is one of the leading photographers form the world, no doubt. He’ll become a classic of our time and great photography.

  23. love your colors…
    thanks for sharing, Mr. Steve x

  24. akin ozbekligil Says:

    Yes Wonderful photos…..

  25. One wonders how Mr. Steve is capable reaching such locations to capture their feelings rather than their images. God is always with those who care for such matters and mingle with those people . Kudos to you Mr. Steve

  26. Elvia Moreno Says:

    I love your work!

  27. Beautiful Work !

  28. I just love your presentation. It’s not enough just to take lovely photos. I think the presentation is also as important and you are a real artitst for that. I’ve reblogged it because I love it so much. Each post is as beautiful as the other.

  29. Reblogged this on Motherhood Project and commented:
    Steve McCurry’s blogs are truly a work of art. As much as his photos. Love the concept of lovely photos interspersed with such original quotes.

  30. Thank you for your soul!

  31. Pedro Bautista Says:

    Conversamos a través de estas imágenes… gracias!

  32. thank you for this collection!!

  33. Indeed your pictures communicates to the human eye. Stunning, poetic and so inspiring!

  34. Windows to the world

  35. Anonymous Says:

    thank you, thank you very much for these images


    What gorgeous images to touch the soul. Truly a fortunate person to have experienced and captured these.

  37. Ces photos me parlent… merci

  38. Great collection!

  39. kakatues Says:

    I love the way u express comunication through images.., great job, great pics!
    thanks and congratulations!

  40. kakatues Says:

    I love how u express the comunication through the images… people need more comunication!!
    Congratulations! great pics!!

  41. Very touching photos and great quotes.

  42. jayesh shivabhai patel Says:

    excellent photography i rely enjoy your photo.

  43. jayesh shivabhai patel Says:

    i rely enjoy your photo.wonderful

  44. I just want to pack my bag and travel through all this fascinating countries with their beautiful cultures!

  45. Anonymous Says:

    i enjoy your photography.

  46. Love the way you tell a story with your images.

  47. Very inspiring work, thank you!

  48. I love seeing people from all over the world in their own elements, it feels like I am there:)

  49. Steve, you amaze me with your eye and your soul. You are manna for me. Many thanks.

  50. Great photos! I love the Iraq pic…the older boys are just loving it😉

  51. Reblogged this on Jolene's Life in Focus and commented:
    These are the types of photographs I aspire to create one day. Steve McCurry is my absolute favorite!

  52. In tise day and age when communication is through the conduit of technological tools, you have brought out the magic of conversation through your truly beautiful photos. Thank you!

  53. Every picture is like a pure diamond. There isn’t a one I didn’t like. Such colors, emotions, humanity. I’m stunned by your photos.

  54. Connie Jensen Says:

    As always, you manage to get to the heart of the matter– with each image– we feel we are silent witnesses to these deep conversations, the people carry on without being self conscious, or even aware of your presence. Wonderful series.

  55. Excellent thoughtful quotes that truly expand on the art of conversation. When one takes the time to listen, one has the opportunity to learn. The photos add words to this conversation. Beautiful and thoughtful.
    Thanks for posting!

  56. Excellent series. You have managed to capture the essence of conversational mannerisms universal among the world’s people.

  57. Shared this on Facebook. Always love your photo essays.

  58. Judith Nosrati Says:

    Thank you for sharing…. They are simply incredible… :-))

  59. gorgeous images…. and basic form of human communication, not via email, internet, or sms, back to basic.

  60. anna rogacien Says:

    Mister McCurry you are a wizard. MERAVIGLIOSO.

  61. […] See the original post here: Food for the Soul « Steve McCurry's Blog […]

  62. Dear Mr McCurry,
    Everything I wanted to say has been already said…So,,,,
    May be I can add that it struck me the picture of the man from India, talking on his mobile phone…Civilization reaches everybody, even at awkward times…
    If I have to choose one, it would be the one from Yemen, with all the family talking..
    (PD: Did you realize how much Khalil Khouri looks like Mr Aznar, ex Spanish president, on that pic?)

  63. The colors and composition are just so wonderful. Every photo has its own way to touch me. Love them all. Thanks for sharing!:)

  64. Thank you, Steve. Your photographs touch the soul, as does the wisdom inherent in the quotes you share with us.

  65. Inspiring pictures as always, Steve !

  66. Peter Forrest, M.D. Says:

    My brother … a peace was given or radiated to my while going through the photos and the thoughts …
    Thank you … Namaste ….

    If the Energy … tell me about Paraguay … when at Iguazu … I elected to go south and around to Salta on to Sucre — many
    cautioned about the crime at that time ~2005. The smiles of the Children in South America still live within my heart … a year vagabonding RARELY if ever … heard a child cry.

    AGAIN — your GIFT pervades through your work.

  67. Great photos, oh to have traveled as much as you Steve…what sights you must have seen (or conversations had!)

  68. Your photographs resonate on a visceral level with me. I’m so glad I found your blog. Thank you for the sheer humanity of your work.

  69. Bengt R Kiil Says:

    Epic pictures as always from Steve McCurry. One thing though, have you considered to spend some time traveling in USA/Canada documenting the lives of the native americans today?. I would love to se you making a documentary on that.

    Best wishes from Norway.

  70. Jane Danckert Says:

    Thankyou for sharing,brilliant:)

  71. Wow!

  72. You capture the most beautiful colors. I always enjoy the variety within your posts.

  73. Anonymous Says:

    Loved to see your photo of Paraguay at the bottom. It touched me before I read the caption. I am in Paraguay, in the process of buying a new camera….checked my emails and found yours….more affirmation to buy that camera. Thanks for your heart warming work. I hope someday to touch people as you do.

  74. I am very drawn to the colors and composition in the opening image and quite enamored of the image in Italy of the man in prayer at the end of a passageway with frescoes on the wall.

    Mesmerizing images and food for thought.:)

    Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  75. Wonderful post. You are very inspiring. I love the colours and composition.

  76. fine selection of your work. Compliments!


  77. yup. stunning and amazing photos as always. so full of heart……

  78. really great ,your photo are always wonderful !

  79. Such a beautiful set, as always. All photos are amazing! Hard to pick the best.

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