fav haunts and sixth sense?
There are two places in Bangkok (amongst others really) which i haunt regularly with a camera when I have a bit of free time – one is chinatown and the other is lumphini park. There is always something quirky going on, and if the light is good something usual pops up. Today the light is great in the mornin so I sling my camera bag over the shoulder and head out. As I get to the MRT station I am faced with a choice: Lumphini or Chinatown. I think, I should just let the situation decide. Often we are dictated with such conceptual drive to get somewhere that as photographers we miss out on stuff that presents itself. So I opt for the park coz the outdoors looks great. I wander around, nothing really exceptional today, but a sweet scene where some retirees (well I think they are) are doing some ballroom dancing. It definitely looks like some of the women are trying to loosen up the men. Everyone seems to be having fun. It kind of juxtaposes in my mind with a shot I did last year of two kids in Khon Kaen. Life zips by. I wander around some more and really appreciate how this park gives many people an affordable daily escape – somewhere to hang out with friends, work out etc. As I ruminate joggers pass me by, and I suddenly remember someone who I met at a friends wedding a couple of years ago in Jakarta, she had moved to Bangkok to work on some media projects, and now has been promoted to DC. Another jogger passes me, a western woman in red. I turn off to walk out the gate when someone taps me on the shoulder – it is the jogger and yes it is the same acquaintance, Kathleen! I think we actually are processing all kinds of things in our minds (and brains) that we don’t pay attention to most of the time, and when we do ‘hit upon it’ we get excited and call it ESP. In Buddhism the sixth sense, mental perception, is taken for fact. Most of the time it is busy processing stuff from the other senses all mixed up with concepts. But every once in a while a simple sense perception gets processed in an ‘unconceptual’ manner and we get a glimpse of what a pure mental perception could be like (technically a purely mental percepton doesn’t necessarily rely on the other senses but lets not get to technical here!).Forgive the rave, but I think it relates to how documentary photographers operate. A lot of the time concepts and images get in the way of things which are just there, at other times there is a subtle interplay. But so often we almost consciously ignore premonitions. Something to think about.Meanwhile after my morning excursion I get back to my laptop, and some images I am uploading to an ftp site are taking ages… The digital era just sucks up all our time!
Leave a Reply