Smile My Heart,Smile~Louise c. Fryer

Smile My Heart Smile ©2012 Louise c. Fryer

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prayer in My Boot ~ Robert Larson Images

Prayer in my Boot
By Naomi Shihab Nye
For the wind no one expected
For the boy who does not know the answer
For the graceful handle I found in a field
attached to nothing
pray it is universally applicable
For our tracks which disappear
the moment we leave them
For the face peering through the cafe window
as we sip our soup
For cheerful American classrooms sparkling
with crisp colored alphabets
happy cat posters
the cage of the guinea pig
the dog with division flying out of his tail
and the classrooms of our cousins
on the other side of the earth

how solemn they are
how gray or green or plain
how there is nothing dangling
nothing striped or polka-dotted or cheery
no self-portraits or visions of cupids
and in these rooms the students raise their hands
and learn the stories of the world
For library books in alphabetical order
and family businesses that failed
and the house with the boarded windows

and the gap in the middle of a sentence
and the envelope we keep mailing ourselves
For every hopeful morning given and given,
and every future rough edge
and every afternoon
turning over in its sleep
~Naomi Shihab Nye

About The Photographer:
A Journey To Haiti
“When I walk, I walk”~Jeanmary Michel
In January of 2010, I met a 27-year-old man in Port-au-Prince named Jeanmary Michel. We were strangers walking down the street together. It had been a difficult trip, and up to that point the reaction that most strangers had to my presence was hostile. This man simply looked at me, smiled and said “Whatsup?” He then continued on his way as if he had no desire to receive a greeting in return. I said hello, and asked where he was going. He said, “When I walk, I walk”.
I had traveled to Haiti in the days after the earthquake to photograph a historic moment for the world. I was in over my head. This stranger sensed my frustration and offered to show me whatever I’d like to see and to make sure I was safe. I agreed, and we spent the next 5 hours walking through the city on foot or riding in the back of taxis. I experienced more with him in 5 hours than I had in the last three days. We agreed to meet up the next morning and do it all over again.
We stayed in touch after I returned home to Los Angeles. In February of 2011, I received a grant from the Gilhousen Family Foundation to travel back to Haiti for two weeks and continue my photography project. This project had now been named Waiting for Haiti. I called Jeanmary, and we made arrangements for me to stay with him at his house so that I could experience the day-to-day life of a Haitian family. We emailed back and forth; composing a list of places that I would like to photograph, and he made a list of things he wanted me to see to better understand his country. Over the course of that last trip, Jeanmary and I became best friends. We had opposite backgrounds and perspectives, and we saw Haiti through each other’s eyes.
The more I learned about Haiti and the stronger our friendship grew, the more clear it became that these pictures meant a lot to both of us. One place that we repeatedly visited was the morgue at the General Hospital, in Port-au-Prince. Seeing the same decomposing bodies in the same place year after year and how they are carelessly stacked and slowly putrefying in the inefficient freezers; we felt deeply compelled to understand why the country functions the way it does. Jeanmary bought a notebook and began asking questions of his fellow Haitians, starting with the staff at the morgue. There were many places I could not go without him as a guide and translator. At the same time, having a foreigner by his side and a new sense of confidence opened doors for him that have always remained shut to the general Haitian population. We collected as many images and notes as we could in the short amount of time that we had.
In 2012 I will return to Port-au-Prince with the resources to help Jeanmary and myself share our story, his story, and Haiti’s story. Together with a talented and passionate production team, we will film Haiti in the way that it is. We will show the reality of a beautiful and mysterious country that has been left by the wayside. Through Jeanmary’s eyes, the film will show what a large natural disaster and subsequent flooding of foreign aid money really mean to an undeveloped and highly corrupt country. Haiti has a complicated story; its history is full of mistakes that many promise to never repeat. This project is an ongoing study of the country's future through the life of a man who calls it home.
Robert’s Website for this Project: Waiting for Haiti
Robert’s Other websiterobertlarsonphotography

All Photographs in this post are ©2011 Robert Larson All Rights Reserved. They were posted here with the permission of the Photographer. Thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment