Archive for June, 2013

When Things Come Alive

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2013 by stevemccurry

when words fade and things come alive.
When the destructive analysis of day is done, and
all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.
When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

00081_15, New York, New York, USA, USA-10032NFOverlooking Washington Square Park, New York, United States



I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
– Vincent Van Gogh

USA-10164_newLos Angeles, United States

ITALY-10450NF3Umbria, Italy

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents
and silently steal away
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow




CHINA-10026_newHong Kong

The man who has seen the rising moon break out of the clouds
at midnight has been present like an archangel at the
creation of light and of the world
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

CHINA-10171Hong Kong

USA-10086New York, United States

INDIA-10237NF3Mumbai, India

Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber!
– Lord Byron

01052_ 023India

To me at least was never evening yet
But seemed far beautifuller than its day.
– Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book

INDIA-10605Rambagh Palace Hotel, Jaipur, India

INDIA-10312NF, Taj Mahal, Agra, India, 1996,Agra, India

Day, like a weary pilgrim, had reached the western gate of heaven, and
Evening stooped down to unloose the latchets of his sandal shoon.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

USA-10294Grand Central Terminal, New York, United States

What hath night to do with sleep?
–  John Milton, Paradise Lost


Learn to reverence night and to put away the vulgar fear of it,
for, with the banishment of night from the experience of man,
there vanishes as well a religious emotion,
a poetic mood, which gives depth to the adventure of humanity.
– Henry Beston




ITALY-10018NF5, Camino, Italy, 09/2004 final print_MACROItaly

The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand.
– Frederick L. Knowles


Some praise the Lord for Light,
The living spark;
I thank God for the Night
The healing dark.
– Robert W. Service

Life Breath of Half the World

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2013 by stevemccurry

INDIA-10220 India

India’s  monsoon rains have covered the entire country a month ahead of schedule,
brightening the prospects for a
bumper output of summer-sown crops such as rice, oilseeds and
cotton in one of the world’s leading producers.

INDIA-10214-(1)Mumbai, India


During the year I spent following the monsoon in a dozen countries, I learned to see it as a critically important event, 
and not the disaster it had first seemed to my Western eyes.

INDIA-11030Varanasi, India

For half the world’s people, good monsoon s  mean life and prosperity.
Bad monsoons mean famine and death.


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. 



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


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



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


INDIA-10926Monsoon skies over Bihar, India

Fizzy, frothy, fickle rain




BANGLADESH-10007     Bangladesh

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

INDIA-10377NF3Monsoon Festival, India


Monsoons, Australia, River, Arnumlan Untold_bookAustralia

INDONESIA-10007, Ujung Pandang, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1983
‘Steve McCurry in monsoon flood, Gujarat, India 

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me
by Mary Oliver 
Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
Katmandu Valley, Nepal

To Light a Fire

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2013 by stevemccurry

To learn to read is to light a fire;
every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.

– Victor Hugo


ITALY-10406    Umbria, Italy

At one magical instant  the page of a book –
that string of confused, alien ciphers–shivered into meaning. 

Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment,
whole universes opened. 

You became, irrevocably, a reader.
– Alberto Manguel

BURMA-10566 Mandalay, Burma

Everywhere I go in the world, I see young and old,
rich and poor, reading books.
Whether readers are engaged in the sacred or the secular,
they are, for a time, transported to  another world.

AFGHN-12373NF  Bamiyan, Afghanistan

We are familiar with words describing images, but not so
familiar with images describing words and the
impact reading has on our lives.

THAILAND-10147 (1)Thailand

Garrett Stewart’s book, The Look of Reading:
Book, Painting, Text, explores the relationship of

reading and art.He points out that a wide array of artists from Rembrandt to  Picasso and Cassatt
and dozens more,over the past 500 years
have painted people reading and the “look of reading” on the subjects’ faces.


RUSSIA-10075  Moscow, Russia

We read to know we are not alone.
– C.S. Lewis


A great book that comes from a great thinker
is a ship of thought, 
deep freighted with truth and beauty.
– Pablo Neruda

YEMEN-10071, Sana'a, Yemen, 1997. A man reads the Qu'ran.  Yemen

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road.
They are the destination, and the journey.
They are home.
– Anna Quindlen


I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
– Jorge Luis Borges


There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
– Emily Dickinson


SRILANKA-10087, Sri Lanka, 12/1995, Boy Reading with mother in temple.Sri Lanka

Reading is everything.
Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something,
learned something, become a better person.
Reading makes me smarter.
Reading gives me something to talk about later on…
Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.
– Nora Ephron


Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly,
into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.
– Joyce Carol Oates



UNITED_ARAB_EMIRATES-10004Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
– Joseph Addison


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01098_08; Rome; Italy; 10/1994, ITALY-10268

00728_128, Hazara, Afghanistan, AFGHN-13113NF3Bamiyan, Afghanistan

FRANCE-10068Lourdes, France




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