Back in the 21st century…just left the 19th…

People who know me better, know that there is a place on this planet that means more to me than any other…It’s not my home town, it’s not my sole city, it’s a tiny village tucked away in a God forgotten valley. Hardly even visible on google maps… Jews and Christians have their Jerusalem, Muslims their Mecca, I have my own spiritual valley…It’s a place where I go to forget, where I go to remember, where a past world comes to life and becomes reality and where a present world becomes the past…No running water, no gas and only barely electricity. No paved roads, fancy cars, laptops and facebook.

Time stays still, but time passes as well…In the last years I scarcely had the opportunity of spending more than a day in a place where I passed by summers as a child…Now I had the luck of spending three days. Three days where I shed my 21st century clothes, mentality and problems, and I reemerged as one of them. Walking on the streets yesterday someone saw me, greeted me and told me: “Son, you haven’t changed. You’re still one of us”. It’s a place where daily problems are not e-mails, exams, papers and projects, but whether the crops will fail this year, whether the hay dried with all this rain or whether this weather will do any good for this year’s grape harvest…I am witnessing a dying world, a world that struggled and is still struggling to exist, but a world for which I don’t see a distant future. Many people passed away in the last years. People my age, kids who we would roam the dusty allies left to Germany…Time has gotten the best of my old folks as well…They’ve gotten old. I realized this, and I realized how fortunate I am to still spend time with them, to hear their stories and to ask for advice.

There’s a certain wisdom in these people I cannot fully grasp. As a child and now as a grownup I still stare at my grandpa when he rests after work. It is that moment of his being that is his, a moment I can only look at and wonder. With a smoking cigarette in his left hand, he glances into the distance in what seams to be a place of memories, life, understanding and emptiness. It is the glance of a person gone through the difficulties and wonders of life, a glance that holds satisfaction and sorrow and ultimately takes life for what it is…I was fortunate enough to catch this moment on camera. And I want to share it with you…

Kolozsvár / Szászdányán 10.07.2010

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One response to “Back in the 21st century…just left the 19th…

  1. That’s one of the best pictures i hav ever seen!!

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