Where is your home? Is it an apartment, a flat, a house, a condo, a boat, a trailer, a bench in the park? For many, the word home simply means a dwelling place, for me, it is a place where I am comfortable.
My family is my home.
Guyana is my home.
At work, I’m at home.
Certainly, on the seawalls, I am at home.
Home | Canon EOS 60D | Sigma 10-20mm | January 2016
As strange as it may sound, sometimes when I can’t find a paragraph or two to express what I want to say, the words come out as a poem…
The call of the Kiskadee
on a rain-kissed afternoon
The sung sweet melody
of an old Tradewinds tune,
The shout of a passing man,
“Creketeh! get yuh Crawbeah!”
And the woman just behind
singing “Broom ay, broom ay”
Sundays- dressed, in church,
And the Saturday movie night,
A show for the family,
or maybe one with a bit of fright,
The sweet salty scent
of the breeze on the seawalls
A tasty mouthful
of pholourie or egg-ball,
Walking the water’s edge,
feeling sand, feeling the foam,
It’s where I belong,
this is Guyana, this is home.
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from this year’s Deck Project.
Every year I have a photography project that I call The Deck, it’s basically what other photogs refer to as a Project 52, one photo for every week of the year. The main reason I do it is to keep me shooting, with work and family life it is easy to sometimes put the camera down and not shoot anything, and I prefer not to have that happen, some weeks I get good stuff, other weeks I get a load of crap, even in those weeks the “crap” has to have something salvageable, and I find that in those instances I find myself seeking out the basics of the composition and putting the little artistic portion of my mind to work for the best processing possible to make it worthy of the project, failing which that would be the end of the Project, and I don’t really want that.
In shooting images all year round, I get more than I need for The Deck, and out of these I’ve been able to narrow down some to my Oniabo collection, I intend to keep the Deck Project going, and hopefully get more smaller collections developing.
I decided that for January 2015 I want to also try and photograph (not exclusively) around a sub-theme: Square. I started using Instagram (see my last post) and the square composition, while at first very ill-fitting for me, has become a bit more appealing, so my first week’s image will be an Instagram photo, and I hope to include “square” into other images for the month, not necessarily as the crop ratio, but maybe as elements in the composition.
Since you’ve probably already seen the last post I did, and in there is the image I chose for this week’s Deck photo.
In Guyana, we have many cultures that have merged into this cook-up that we call our “One People”, and many are from the east, as in Asia, most eastern culture have in their traditions or as part of their religious beliefs the habit of removing one’s footwear when entering a home.
I’ve always seen this as a sign of respect, but I also know that in some religions it is mandatory, and in some cultures such as in Japan it was originally a hygiene/health habit (not tracking dirt and germs into the space that you eat and sleep).
In many parts of Guyana, this is how we’ve been taught, but the western culture has slowly crept in over the years and the respect we the dwellers show the visitors to our homes is one of acceptance, in that we may ask them to take off their shoes, and they may refuse, often we let our own judgement dictate who to ask and who not to.
In this photo, I also show respect for the change in photography as it widens its doors to an acceptance of non-traditional devices, processing and distribution methods, my older phones would produce some real crap, but with my current phone, I think I can produce acceptable images.
My Last blog post of the year! So I take it to do a small “family letter”, or as close as I’ll get to that in a while 🙂
As two of my brothers have already written or expressed through video, this has been an “eventful” year.
Maureen and I, as well as Andre and Areza, celebrated a decade of marriage, Miriam did well in school, although she says she did not do so well, her overall percentage fell, but she did her best and we are proud of her. Joan Ann got married to Jerry and has migrated to Barbados, God called into his arms two of our loved ones, Granny Correia and Uncle John (Moll), they are both missed and we pray for their souls and the strength to carry on without them. Aunt Kumarie (Maureen’s mom) was diagnosed with Gastric Cancer, the surgery was successful and her chemotherapy begins soon, we hope we have the strength to support her, but she is a strong person and may be our support even through her own trials. I started my own blog and am enjoying my photography even more through it. Nikhil and I were robbed whilst in pursuit of our photography endeavours, quite an experience. This year I also went with my family to Sint Maarten, where I got some amazing photographs and was called Blog-o-matic for the frequent blogging I did from there, and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Areza and Ariel migrated in time to begin Ariel’s new school, and she is doing wonderfully, a real champ, my niece. Andre followed them shortly and their family is now re-united and moving forward.
Of all these events Andre’s parting has affected me the most, I couldn’t even take a focused photograph at the airport as he was leaving. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my grandmother dearly, and I do miss Joan a lot, but there is something about the three eldest brothers that was just different. Together we were MAN (Michael, Andre and Nicholas), we complimented each other, as different as brothers usually are, but we grew to be not just brothers, but friends. That friendship with my other siblings is still developing, but with the three of us it was forged in growing, in fights, in scheming together, in church and in the schools we attended together, in Karate classes, in playgrounds, and even in our varying tastes in music, and with Andre, we were in the choir together (shhhh!), both of us later found mutual friends at University, and a common interest in photography.
This photograph is not the one I wanted, I really wanted a good one of him boarding the aircraft, but my eyes and hands betrayed my at that time. But this one is typical of the males of the Lam family, we hug very seldom, we shake hands more than not, and even more often we just smile and acknowledge each other. We seldom say “I Love you” or “I am proud of you” or say in words how much we care, it is mostly a nod and a smile and that is enough for us, we KNOW!
This photograph gives thanks! Thanks for the many years God has given us with our Dad, his wisdom, his sense of right and wrong and his commitment to the family! On the wall in the background is the transplanted family photograph or Andre, Areza and Ariel. Thanks for all that they have been, for what they mean to al of us, and always will. And the brass Chinese character hanging on the wall, a reminder of our ancestry, where we have come from, the generations of Lams who have been born on Guyana’s soil, and those from mother China whom we never knew but owe our genes to 🙂 That chinese character is the symbol for Longevity or Long Life, symbolic and serendipitous.
To all our friends, our family, and anyone reading this, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2011, and Longevity.