: A border, to encircle, to surround, to skirt, to wander through: crossing into what I saw
:Against, Opposite, Contrary, in Comparison to, in contrast
Travel Changes You in that you See yourself in the Other and you often reflect on the Randomness of life and ultimately the marginality of your own being.
Opposite in color, in vision, in origin, a juxtaposition of ideas, one image against each other has over time pulled my attention from one internal narrative to another, combining senses, memories, imagination, and ultimately settling into an abstract impression which in turn formed my own projections over what I see around me.
The point of view is never objective or real, and the observer rarely knows what the observed experiences. And yet this interplay continues often resulting in beauty or misunderstanding. In traveling, even from the corner of my house to the next street I take in and Notice the details, as if the eye has now become its own camera and continually clicks and clicks.
When I was young, perhaps 13 years old, I remember walking with my Mother in an orange grove near our home, and she gazed down the path at a tiny daisy and simply said, "Dorit look, beauty is in the details" etching in my head forever to search for comfort, for adventure, for solace in what surrounds me.
Often also I notice the sorrows of the poor not so far from my own house, the sorrows of the mourning, and the cruelty of humans inflicting pain on each other. The galleries are an incomplete travelog of my internal vision and my inner landscapes that over time have been changing, continuously informing my point of view.
image: Singapore, 2012. The Indian quarter. A splash of color in the middle of an urban landscape.
image: Hong Kong, 2013. In the market area. Which generation?
image: Singapore, 2013. The art and science of noodle making. What is he thinking about?
image: Singapore, 2012.
image: Singapore, 2012. In the Malaysian district, in a little market shop. The lack of motion and the piercing, empty eyes impressed me. As did the fashion statement.
image: Hong Kong, 2013. Many couples come to this market for wedding photos. Is it the Juxtaposition of graffiti, dirt, grunge against the purity of marriage, or a forecast of life? I imagine they deem it cool, despite its popularity.
image: Hong Kong, 2013. The market workers eating and slurping noodles fast. Noisy and harried.
image: Hong Kong, Lantau Island, 2013. One of the 6 Devas offering gifts to the Tian Tan Buddha: patience, morality, wisdom, generosity, zeal, and meditation-paths leading to enlightenment. I found her face beautiful.
image: Milos, Greece, 2006. Two old men who stared and stared. They seemed relaxed and resigned. A third one joined them later. They could not understand why I wanted to take their pictures.
image: Tahiti, Tikihau, 2013. There is only one village in the atoll, and we took a little boat to see the village nurse. I hurt my ear scuba diving. We communicated with google translate. It was free. He was a wonderful nurse. There are hardly any tourists there so we all stared at each other.
Image: Morocco, Fez, 2005. The leather tanneries. I felt sorry for the men, all day deep in these vats, under the scorching sun. I didn't buy anything.
image: Jordan, Wadi Rum also known as The Valley of the Moon, 2007. The Art of History and Nature.
image: Angistri island, Greece, 2015. A man that was larger than life contemplating the end. He is scared to die, he is sad. I know my father well.
image: Singapore, Indian quarter. Where there is color there is a chance for happiness.
image: Tel aviv, Israel 2012. The sign: Fighters for Peace. A Peace Now demonstration, one of thousands so many attended hopelessly.
image: Burma, 2016. The Water Festival-New Year celebrations taken to new levels. The young boy out of frustration at the lack of targets, aiming excitedly at his foot. Purification, Good Luck, Blessings, Fun and Jubilation. The 3 day festival was during my visit and my own birthday. I went to the temple to wash my Buddha. Aung San Suu Kyi assumed office a week earlier and there was a quiet hope in the country.
image: Buenos Aires, the Pink House, the President's executive mansion and office. In front, the Plaza de Mayo, home to the Mothers of the disappeared.
image: Bali, Ubud 2015. Monkey Forest. There is plenty to be scared of. Squeezing you and trembling together makes it easier.
image: Chilean Patagonia, 2017. The Lazo-Weber trek. High winds, majestic views, and off the beaten path. Torres Del Paine is just around the corner.
image: Rio De Janeiro Favela, 2015. Colorful and cheerful, open sewage, gang violence, poverty, misery.
image: Russian River, California. The view from my hammock.
image: Buenos Aires, 2017. The underground tunnels. A life in the deep under.
image: Athens, Greece 2014. A Gypsy woman and her balloons. Watching her made me want to cry. The winds were high and she struggled right and left to maneuver the colorful bunch, yet she could not sell any.
image: Ushuaia, 2016. The end of the world In a strange way felt as the end of a journey, a marker in my life of having arrived thus far to see the edges of the planet as well as my own.
image: Bora Bora, 2012. Something about how they were hang made it serious. I wanted to take them with me.
image: Borneo, 2013. At the market, eating seafood I have never seen before and no one could explain to me what it was.
image: Varanasi, 2001. The charity meal for the poor. Lined up to receive meager nutrition. Varanasi was an experience of contradiction, confusion, love and disgust. I wanted to stay for 3 weeks, a year, to understand deeply the gestures, the fears and the intensity. I know i will return.
image: Roatan, Garifuna village, 2011, freedom celebration. Dancing, drumming and getting relief from ice popsicles.
image: Buenos Aires, 2017. What a lovely man. His smile was gracious.
image: Mumbai, 2006. The public laundromats. All the uniforms, sheets, cloths make their way here to be washed, ironed, delivered. An organized chaos much like the country itself.
image: Bali 2014, the rice terraces crossing the country.
image: Cochin, India, 2006. The fishermen nests resting in infinite beauty.
When you Opened your Eyes and you did not know or suspected what lay Ahead. Happiness was all present for that one moment, for that one smile. Curiosity is all you had. You asked so many Why's. You stared. You smiled. You played: got dirty and didn't care, you jumped and climbed trees, you dove into the water, you pushed and pulled, you screamed and laughed. You fell and tried again even when you were scared to death. You didn't think about the future...
Image: Athens, 1964. The child who asked too many questions and had an opinion on things.
image: Cambodia, Tonle Sap sap lake, 2007. The village was poor. There was a poverty alleviation program going on, supplying pigs to the villagers. The kids nevertheless, run in the dusty paths and smiled and giggled.
image: Belize, 2016. Indigenous village, women's cooperative. Grandma washed some small mangoes. Joy in small bites.
Image: Roatan, 2011. Garifuna village celebration. Ecstatic dancing and music, our gaze was transfixed.
image: Laos, 2005. A small village not far from Luang Prabang. The little girl was so beautiful, a princess in a pink dress, torn and old, but a princess still. She danced and laughed, I wish I could have spoken to her.
image: Laos, 2005. The man insisted I visit his hut. There lay a young girl and her two babies, and next to them a fire smoldering inside the clay ground to heat the place. The mom was exhausted. I did not know what to do or say. The man was excited and happy. The babies were born yesterday he said. The hut felt like a sauna. I wished I was a nurse. I was ashamed that soon I would be leaving and what would become of these babies. What were their chances and hope, the village was so poor. I left behind all the money I had the image has never left me.
image: Laos 2005. Sometimes so many things are frustrating. I can relate to that. she tried for a long time to unscrew her toy.
image: Rio De Janeiro in a favela. The little boy and i sped some time painting the bag and the tank top I bought. He was shy and sweet. I hope he will be ok.
image: China, Beijing 204. Tiananmen Square.Did she know what happened there?
image: Jordan, Petra 2012. A little bedouin girl trying to sell her crafts and chat.
image: Laos, 2005. Hiding in the trees seems fun.
image: north Vietnam, 2006. Mischievous little girl, excitedly grabbed her cat and squeezed her to no end. I was worried for the cat and distracted her to play with something else.
Mixed with sorrow, mixed with anger, mixed with power, mixed with sex, sometimes it is also a matter of love.
image: Buenos Aires, 2016. Milonga dancing at Palermo Soho, the Armenian center. The man holds on to the woman, exquisite sorrow in his embrace.
image: The Armenian Center in Palermo, Buenos Aires. Place your foot on the ground and follow the signs. The party starts at 2 am.
image: Aswan, Egypt 2006. My mom carried an Israeli passport. We flew to Cairo from Tel Aviv and took an Oberoi boat from Luxor to Aswan. State security boarded the boat in Aswan and accompanied us to the market. The men at the cafe followed us with a gaze mixed with desire and hostility. It was never clear if the security was there to protect us or keep an eye on us.
image: Buenos Aires, 2017. The woman who wanted adulation and the people who worship her.
image: Cairo, 2006. Outside the miserable archeological museum at 40 degrees heat. The most beautiful artifacts presented in a building with no ventilation, signage, or proper bathrooms. There was a fainting station for the people who succumbed to the heat. I was wondering what statement was she making with her dress and if only Marilyn knew, how would she react. I thought, nothing can escape desire.
image: Tango night at the Gala, Ventana. Intimate, red, velvet, chandeliers, and Malbec. A waiter, smooth, joyful, selling an experience. He won on all marks.
image: Buenos Aires, 2017. The ultimate woman.
image: my favorite muralist in Buenos Aires, 2017. Men fight, men fight all the time, men fight for nothing and for everything. Men become brutal when they fight.
image: Buenos Aires, 2017. The man at the Independence avenue, the people adorn his garlands over their eyes and mouths. How many countries are the same? Power is the ultimate elixir for some.
Image: "i think I love you; I am serious; I am here; I am breathing."
image: I am ready to devour the best. Buenos Aires, 2017
image: I have something you want. Buenos Aires, 2017
image: All the promises we made, all our dreams, how long will they last when the fear creeps in. Couple in Buenos Aires, 2017
image: China, Zhouzhuang, 2004. The canal city. They were so happy I wanted to take their picture. I took a regular bus there and lost my return ticket. No one knew english but the passengers spoke loudly and they let me back up. I had a wonderful day. Traveling in China alone without knowing a word in Chinese made me very happy. I knew than as I do know that people make things possible when the warmth is there.
image: Hong Kong at the market, 2011. Everyone seemed happy to be doing something different, like taking wedding pictures in the dirty market.
image: Hong Kong at the market, 2011. One wedding party after another made its way to the market, posed, smiled and hoped.
:To pray, to hope, to be faithful, to believe, to be loyal, to betray, to idolize.
Some known comments: religion is the opium of the masses, men built idols only to destroy them, If there was no God men would have invented him. Often we follow and sometimes forced to follow, to convert, to obey, to be led to admire and emulate.
Often it lives little room in our heads for other possibilities or we convince ourselves of the totality and universality of our beliefs. Fairly common, it leads to misery and death, yet also to redemption, humility and strength. More than anything we seek its safety and warmth, the last resort of pain, the caress of an abstract hand.
I have many discussions and questions and requests from God, perhaps because my father in his 80's walks very slowly to the corner church and lights a candle in my name weekly. Perhaps also, because the lamentations of Yom Kippur, and the desire for Tikun, after the self examination and request for forgiveness, move me to tears. I am unable to resist the warm glow of Christmas, unable to stay untouched when seeing people praying, privately, in silence, and together in unison. And so, I drift as well towards the hope.
All that is Beauty
:a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
: a class, kind, or group marked by common characteristics or by one common characteristic; A biological ranking between the family and the species...
In observing other species it is hard for me not to compare homo sapiens to them and conclude that we are the worst of them all. We are mostly the only species to kill for fun, for beliefs, out of emotions.
There is something pure and fascinating observing animals in proximity, following their rituals, the bonds, and the risks they take to survive against all odds.
Many species bond for life until one dies, for the sake of survival, enduring harsh migrations and yet proving loyal to one another. We, humans, are not meant to be bonded as such but we try hard. We try hard in many things and in many ways, but learning from other species best practices has escaped us; like learning to constrain ourselves. Learn how to use only what we truly need.
We have turned the homes of birds, mammals, fish and other little and bigger creatures, harsh and inhospitable. We cut the trees and leveled and burned the forests. we dug deep for oil and precious stones. We didn't stop to think creatively on how to pull resources politely. We killed and trapped and ate without discretion everything on our path. There are jungles on this planet with no birds left.
Many species are at the brink of extinction. Perhaps our species is heading that way as well, certainly with the desertification, the carelessness we show to the land, to the ocean, to other people. We see famine and fighting for resources and huge migration of people, and deaths, ahh, so many deaths.
We can perhaps reflect on how well we will do when Our direct environment is impacted, and further reflect on how to preserve that which will also protect us. What is it with Man and his aggression, why is it that the consciousness which gave us poetry also gave us the ME, ME, ME, the constant wanting of more the constant desire to oppress the other.
One might say this the nature of things, but truly it is more the nurture of things that will help us stick around.
: sweet home.
We come from somewhere, we go somewhere, we return. Odysseus made his way back to Ithaka. I once visited a very good friend who was born and lives there. "As you set out for Ithaca hope your road is a long one, full of discovery, full of adventure" (Cavafy), my father read this poem to me over and over again, since I was a little girl, with his typical gusto, bordering on threat, a directive. It became a deep love. Eventually it became a lifetime of losing and regaining homes.
My family comes from many places to where we will never return to. So we make a home or we carry our home with us wherever we go. So did I. Sometimes a home is just another person or a dog. Sometimes a home is in a tent on the side of a street, or a cardboard, or a blanket. Homeless people in San Francisco spend the whole day in the public library near the city hall. When you visit, the smell and luggage informs you. I have seen homeless people building makeshift homes in all the unlikely places.
Longing for a home, protecting it, making it pretty, losing it, hating it, are all veins in a heart that pumps or bleeds.
The images are my fascination at how and where people make a life. At how the Other lives. At how I could have lived if I was born in a different place or time.
:investigation, inquiry, research, written account of past events, narrative, a story
A story always involves a past. I visited Dachau when I was 21. I rushed to the train right after the visit, needing to get out, Munich to Paris. The sound of the language restricted my breathing, and I felt I had to escape to the next border.
Some years later I went to Terezin because my English teacher, Dita, was one of the children that survived both Terezin and Auschwitz. She has a painting that survived and travels around the world with the childrens art exhibit. I thought of my mother, who one evening after dinner the Hungarians came and boarded the jews onto horse carriages to some other place.
Knowing the past, the far past and the nearer, one is crossing the borders of time, centuries and generations, and it reveals to oneself that they will not be here for long. They will not see how things will evolve, will not remain. This often leaves me in owe and saddens me. I want to know. I am curious. I want to see the flying cars, the cures, the transformation of ideas and cultures.
Seeing the past makes my knees tremble knowing that one can be easily swept into forces one has no control over. I went to Hiroshima when I was in my 20's to pay homage. I was born in Athens, and now from my dad's balcony, you can see the Acropolis, a reminder of all that was, the glory and the gore. I lived through the Junta in Greece. An imprint of memory etched forever in my brain. I resolved to climb mount Olympus to have a talk with Zeus.
The Gods always impressed me, studying mythology in grammar school I believed in the powers of Demeter and Athina. I still do. Seeing plays in Epidavros, hanging out in the Agora, taking the metro in Athens, where all that has surfaced in its construction has been preserved behind glass, seeing the Minoan Palace, the dreams of a Labyrinth and Ikaros falling in Ikaria where I spent a summer as a child, forced me to notice.
I grew up in the past and my past is engulfed by a much wider past. My memories are endless: the Alhambra, the Colosseum, Effesos, Agia Sophia, the Sphinx-eternally asking questions, which many, too many remain answered. I immigrated to Israel, and somehow visiting Jerusalem has always been painful and avoided. My father's house, his Patriko is there and no longer ours. I climbed a tree in my grandmother's garden in the Greek Colony in Jerusalem, from which I couldn't come back down.
Both my parents where refugees-one from Hungary, one from Palestine. History is eternity, hidden in the desert, writings of the Nabateans etched on the stone telling us stories, caves that keep secrets of the ice age, a time that began 80 million years ago. I spent a time of my childhood with a family friend, an anthropologist recording the Bedouins oral history and poetry and it impressed me even then how people carried the past with them, mouth to mouth, from memory to memory.
Just lately, I travelled to see the Mylodon cave, following the Giant Sloth's footsteps into Patagonia, another homage to the glaciers from the bygones, and to Bruce Chatwin whose books strengthened my wanderlust. Mylodon was around 10-14 thousand years ago. I live in a house from 1904, before the big fire in San Francisco and the old redwood walls make me think of the people who lived here that I have never known.
Endless places: travelled to where Budha was born, to where Christ lived and died, where tragedy and comedy began. Travelled to so many graves of good and not so good people. Paying homage always meant something to me. I am sentimental that way; Kafka, Sartre, Simone De Beauvoir, Camus, Shackleton, Lincoln, Evita Peron, to name a few. I was moved when my husband surprised me with a stay in the hotel where Oscar Wilde lived and died. And I rushed to Cuba, during the Bush junior era, to have a drink in just about every hole Hemingway been.
Historia is something about eternity, loss and survival. One's own, one's species. Past species. Extinct. Finished. Except not really, we carry the past and we push the past forward whether it is a good practice or not.
When I was young it impressed me that my grandfather was born in 1900, and saw the invention of electricity and phone and trains that became evil, and planes and television, the man on the moon and so many wars: the first in which he was an officer in the Austro Hungarian war; the second in which he was a slave, the 6 day war and Yom Kippur war in Israel, to where he moved to, escaping the Communist regime.
I immigrated to Israel just before the Yom Kippur war, and since then I have seen the birth of the world wide web, the technological revolution right by my house, living at the time in Palo Alto and Mountain View. My office remains in Palo Alto, in an old victorian in which Joan Baez grew up. I seen gay marriage come through, I have seen a black president in America, I have seen death, war, and genocide continue, despite the never again intentions.
I still think my grandfather's view of change was far more vast. Often I want to tell those who died and I have known, how things turned out. I don't have images from all the places, I carry them mostly in my memory and my mind's eye-my imagination. The past informs my present and enriches it, sometimes its heavy, often it keeps me awake and alert.
: art, practice, craft
Without art, without skill, our soul would die. A woman's, a man's desire to create, to express, to build, to invent, keeps the rest of us alive, vibrant, bewildered, sometimes angry, alert, inspired.
What remains after we are gone: a poem, a dance, a painting, a melody, a voice, a building, a temple, a play, a book. Poor and Rich we engage in art, and no matter the culture one comes from, art runs a fabric of connection and abstraction of the human spirit in its community and reaches out in the same way to strangers, visitors, invaders, and across centuries. We engage art for every occasion and for every emotion: in sadness and mourning, in joy, in envy, in anger, in fear.
We take art to the streets, and it becomes our happiness. Street musicians, muralists, dancers, not to mention outrageous fashion and body art communicate something about who we are. We take art to the outside of our home and our city buildings, decorating it with painting and paintings of abstract designs and murals.
Art is like a balm, and outside art, the art of the mentally ill, the prisoners, the developmentally disabled, the outcasts, the untrained hand, reminds us that ultimately we are all the same.
Etymologically, Technology's root derives from Techni, the Greek word for Art, and in that way, technology is related to creativity and here we are, we can connect in so many new ways. Technology in bad hands, just like everything else, whether in our hands or someone else's can wound.
In my travels, I am drawn to the art of the street and the texture it adds to every corner. I spend time listening to local music old and new, I search for the dance, the movement of each culture with its body.
I don't like to be too particular about what is and what isn't art. For me handmade crafts in a village with no resources is art. An intricate embroidery, a hand weaved basket, a painted cloth, a carved face, pass over a message about a place, about its tradition. When I take it home, and I have met the crafter, I take a memory with me, a piece of it that now has become a cell in my own existence. And so I search for something that can connect me to a place, a person, a future. This is just my taste. Not a perscription.
image: Buenos Aires mural, 2017. Matt, from BA art, took me around the city to some remote neighborhoods for an expedition. Her pensive sadness is so profound, observing and quiet.
image: Tel Aviv, 2016. Coming home for a visit involves surprises.
image: China, Shanghai, 2004, She seemed proud to show me how she played.
image: Tel Aviv, Rokach house, circa 1887, one of the first homes built outside of Jaffa. Sculptures: Leah Mintz, Rokach's grand daughter, who also restored the house. My wedding party took place in the garden.
image: Tel Aviv. It reads: "How do you Know?" The rest I didn't photograph, so I don't know.
image: Buenos Aires. Masks we all wear.
image: Dalia at her house. I have known her since I was a child. My mother and Dalia were in the army together. She was born in Deganya, a kibbutz in the Jordan Valley, one of the first kibbutzim established in Ottoman Palestine, in 1909. Dalia is a painter.
image: Buenos Aires mural on private house. The little girl living there picked the theme. We all have a heart and it beats. There is a door and a window into it.
image: Torres Del Paine, Chile, Michael's tattoo. It depicts Chile's national tree, Araucaria Araucana. 100-130 feet in height. Also known as the Monkey Puzzle Tree or the Monkey Tail tree. It lives a long time and is described as a Living Fossil. It is endangered. Micha and I walked the French Valley trek slowly, behind the group. We talked about life. The tattoo is a good depiction of the Tree of Life: an endangered longevity.
image: San Telmo, Buenos Aires. A few tourist streets, and a source of pain for immigrants who occupied the neighborhood by the flooding river in old times. The houses are built from corrugated iron walls. I don't know how the locals feel now. Yolo: you only live once.
image: Buenos Aires, we are animals after all.
image: Kerala, India, 2007. A Kathakali dancer. I watched him apply the colors and prepare for the dance. He was exquisite, serious. Seen breathing. He let me watch the preparation.
image: Barracas neighborhood, Buenos Aires. Matt told me it is the largest mural in the world. The artist painted all the people who live there. Most still live there. By the polluted river.
image: Old person in the Barracas, Buenos Aires, 2017. The Barracas area used to house a slave quarter among other things.
image: India, Jaisalmer, 2001. The tsunami occurred a few days later on the other side of the country. The little girl danced around and around to her father's music playing. She circled her little brother with the most graceful little steps, holding a perfect rhythm to an infectious music. I have no idea how she felt.
image: Burma, 2016. On the way to Inle lake, during the water festival. The little girls danced in front of their mothers' shop without an audience until I showed up.
image: mural, Buenos Aires. Is it the Critic? We all have one.
image: Tel Aviv. Goes without Saying. My Mother and my Husband.
image: San Francisco, near the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. On the street.
image: mothers of the "disappeared". They did not wear scarfs, but white cotton diapers. The people were never found, but the Mothers group, split into two fractions and has fallen into political infighting and accusations of corruption.
image: Bali, Ubud 2014. The Ogoh-Ogoh festival. Demons carefully crafted by each village only to be carried in a parade and than destroyed. Elaborate and complex as the spiritual pollution they are built to represent. I found it interesting, how heavy and laborious it is to carry them across town, the young kids laughing, profusely sweating and exhausted, in humid, impossibly hot weather, much like we carry across life our own demons-the fear, the disgust, the envy, the malice.
image: Tel Aviv. That's how I feel when I read the news.