the photo above is from a roll of film that I came across last night that was a moment when a charming elderly man walked up to our table in Brasov, Romania. this one image is one of the favorites of my life, as you don’t see the other 23 images telling the tale of this happy and jovial man who was waiting for his pension, post Ceausescu, after spending time in what was translated as “camp Danube.” what is sad is I do not remember the man’s name, yet, his story and path in life forever touched my heart to teach me about how fortunate we are in the west and with the freedoms we have in the united states based on the construct that all men are created equal.
of course, much like religion and being holy or enlightened, the reality of everyone treating each other as equal needs a bit of tweaking. with Agrowspace and growing food, we seem to be running into the reality that there is enough for everyone, it is just that humans created a very skewed distribution system.
there is a bit of irony in the USA in that we have created an entire industry with incarceration. I guess it is like anything, once the systems get larger and people decide they need more layers of bureaucracy, you get a bloated machine that gets bigger than the people that need to be fed to stay alive. that is what I would consider our current trajectory post 9-11. I still don’t know how the land of the free and home of the brave turned into the land of the controlled and the home of the fearful and afraid?
if you want to read a few interesting books about the idea of work or reprogramming camps, read “The Gulag Archipelago” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “A Cloud of Witnesses” by Father Arseny, or the “Diary of Anne Frank” by Anne Frank. there is a book being translated out of Poland I want to read of a young woman’s diary while living in Poland or Romania that has come out of storage of her brief life of privilege and how it all ended with her execution in WW2. The latter two books come with respect to the Holocaust and the sad reality of what some human beings did to others. The former two, well, they are what others did to each other that did not fit into the system all that well. I guess that is why the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” means a lot in how we were raised in the USA, even though lately, I wonder where fairness in the system vs. “how much money do you have?” to game the system.
what I learned in my odd trek around the world and meeting all sorts of characters is that we are all human, we will all make mistakes, and aside from a few folks that literally live out in the desert away from the world as we know it – no one is enlightened to their level, yet, there sure is a lot of folks pedaling the idea of it in books stores, seminars, and outlets. a friend in Europe was asking about the “prosperity bible” and it made me think and have to wonder, “what is the truth…I don’t really have the answer, except God is pure love and as humans, as much as we strive and try, we are severely limited in growing to that level of love in our modern secular world of so many choices.
I digress, what about this man. the old Romanian man, who was delighted that I asked him to join us for a sparkling wine. women in the west gush at the custom of having their hand kissed, which as far as I know, is a distinctly Romanian custom. and while I do not know the exact translation, I probably should publish the other 23 images in that one roll of film, as it tells the story of a man with a childlike heart remembering the reality of his time in camp Danube, and then on the other side, “life is ok…I still am waiting for my pension from the govt (i think it was 8 years already?), but all will be ok…today I had some sparkling wine, I swooned a beautiful woman…life is good.”
I think in the USA, we probably are too busy trying to be happy staring into our mobile devices, connected to some social blob and keeping track of everyone and everything – yet, we forget about inviting a stranger to a table, “want a coffee? tea? sparkling wine?”
for as amazing as the internet is at allowing us access to information, I don’t think it is making us really much better humans outside the little cluster of folks that are our immediate family and a few close friends. I keep wondering what event or pain will have to happen as the country doesn’t seem to want to address the reality of all, versus a few with special interests.
the other day I was driving back from the gym and staring up to the sky seeming to ask, “ok god, what do you want puny me to do?”
there was a billboard that had the words, “end the story of hunger”
so, I guess it is time to continue onward and coming up with tools and technologies to help people and plant the ability to grow in pristine controlled environments.
don’t worry, there is a mobile version we are working on to get people out into nature itself. if nothing, allow people a taste and a place to experience that which got covered up in their pursuit of stuff and the world.
cool beans. I think I have a total of two rolls of film of images I took in my life that I like. one is this moment with the interesting Romanian man. the other was one day in Paris where I think 22 of the 24 images on that roll were spectacular. I haven’t found that roll yet. but it is a bit like buried treasure, you keep looking. sort of like me thinking man will one day actually learn to have peace on earth.
i can dream, no?