"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

lost

All At Sea: The Wonder Years

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“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”

From “maggie and minnie and molly and may” by e e cummings

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Picture taken on Payyambalam beach, Kannur


It’s Planet Earth, Jim, But Not As We Know It

The confluence of the rivers Indus and Zanskar.
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After our initial exploration of Leh, it was time to travel a little further.
To be honest, I had little idea where we were heading.
There was an itinerary, of sorts, but it was flexible.
We quickly understood that a lengthy list of powerful factors would dictate what actually happened.
Changing weather conditions, earthquakes, landslides, political considerations, religious festivals and military manoeuvres were all apt to disrupt plans.

We were in the Himalayas: a conflict zone between India, China and Pakistan; the roof of the world; and the crumple-zone between two massive tectonic plates in collision.
It was best to relax and let go: to think that we were in control was just to fool ourselves.

It seems we travelled westward.
I have since rechecked our printed programme: the one I signed-up to in Cochin.
It offers little help: many of the places we visited are not mentioned.
I cannot even find them on the map.

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As a young medical student in my early twenties, I travelled to Asia and Africa.
My journey in Ladakh elicited the same emotions as those first forays beyond Europe.
This was a different world: one with which I was totally unfamiliar.
I felt a sense of great wonderment, tinged with the frisson of being decidedly out of my depth.
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Pictures probably taken close to the village of Nimmu in Ladakh.


Finding Your Way

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“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”

Henry David Thoreau

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“In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for ”finding himself.” If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.”

Thomas Merton

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“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”

Lloyd Alexander

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“If we are incapable of finding peace in ourselves, it is pointless to search elsewhere.”

François de la Rochefoucauld

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“There comes a point in many people’s lives when they can no longer play the role they have chosen for themselves. When that happens, we are like actors finding that someone has changed the play.”

Brian Moore

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“.. a point at which everything becomes simple and there is no longer any question of choice, because all you have staked will be lost if you look back. Life’s point of no return.”

Dag Hammarskjold

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“Only in solitude do we find ourselves; and in finding ourselves, we find in ourselves all our brothers in solitude.”

Miguel de Unamuno

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Photographs taken at the Padmanabhapuram Palace



The Second Chance

It’s not always that you get a second chance,

Even in computing.

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A few days ago, whilst editing a new post, I blundered. Attempting to compress the picture files, I irreversibly converted them into little more than thumbnails. Such a loss is hardly shattering but it unsettled me. My impatience while tackling a new procedure had been needless.

I had been a little tired and clumsy that day. Even before my mistake, when gathering the photo images into a new parent folder, the computer seemed barely under my control. Rather disconcertingly, the new pictures disappeared completely at one stage.

But this vanishing trick turned to my advantage.

I have just discovered where the folder of unedited pictures was hiding. That original parent folder, its images still uncompressed, has been found!

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And now, with absolutely no apologies for self-indulgence, I re-present them

– uncompressed –

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“…and was lost, but is found…”

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Synchronicity is at play. The pain of loss and hope of discovery are described in other lives…

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