Five Days to the Mountains

Seven days and "hasta luego" to Minnesota.  Its got me thinkin' a lot about how other people live in this world of ours.  Our societies, our support networks are so fragile - I know, mine's about to experience an earthquake - so delicate are they that our sense of worth and peace of mind is shaken by the slightest shift.  Think about it - what's it like when a new friend joins your do you feel after a simple conversation with someone who disagrees with you...if your a believer, what's it like to be among those who don't think like you?  By reason you'd think, "we're all humans right? Change shouldn't be that difficult."...and in the grand scheme of things its not, but you'd be a fool to underestimate it.

So I've been asking myself...what do I take for granted? What is my culture? (very big question, take some time with that one), what is important to me, what makes me feel loved? What's going to change when I leave the place I grew up.  I remember this "standing on jello" feeling every time I entered a new culture...French, Israeli, Palestinian, Thai, Japanese...each was a big adjustment and lesson in self humility.  Obviously, Colorado is still within my home culture, but the support network isn't there.  I'm not worried, but it is interesting to think about the subtle necessities of life.

 So take it one step further: let your mind wander across the Saudi Arabia.  How do they live? What do they love? How do they feel loved? What is love? I can tell right now that this could go into a critique on the Western portrayal of love, but don't worry I'll spare you that labyrinth today.  Just think about someone else for awhile.  Maybe someone without food everyday, or someone who lives without running water, or someone who doesn't believe in God.  Maybe someone who's lived their whole life as a nomad. What is their life like? Oh, I beg of you, don't go down the pity road, that's a bit insulting.  Take a real glance at their lives.  Like how would they raise their children or teach them how to read.  What's their favorite thing to cook, do they celebrate holidays? Why? Are they lonely? Have they had their heartbroken? What's their take on the economy? Give them a face, a husband or a wife.

Ya know, most people don't live like you.

Photographs by Antonino Puppi & Joe McNally