Saturday, February 14, 2009

look kids, big ben

this is my favorite london 'city' shot.

sometimes you are given signs. i thought toto's 'africa' playing at the airport was enough of a sign, but then i saw the 'uganda house' in trafalgar square.
and then another sign? 'wind the cab?'
sometimes a picture is more poetic than i care to articulate.

reclaim love

my life has been filled with moments where i look around and wonder how the heck i got there. i've found myself in some very strange places, with people unlike myself, but yet... maybe not so much unlike myself.

i had a very bad cold when i arrived in london and after photographing lovers in trafalgar square i was tempted to go back to the airport, but something told me to go to piccadilly circus. after minding the gap, i emerged right in the middle of piccadilly circus. it only took a moment for me to see the 'free hugs' being given out. i thought this was a nice gesture being that it was valentine's day and all. i did not realize i was about to be a part of a hippy love fest for the next few hours.

soon there were many more people gathering around. people of all kinds. i soon realized who the leader of this love fest was when i saw her speaking to the police about 'reclaiming love because love is brilliant' while a wizard videotaped the interaction.

the crowd kept getting bigger. and also... somewhat weirder, but in a way that i found refreshing.
even young skateboard dudes were reclaiming love.
our purpose was soon explained by venus who told us that in many other places around the world, at exactly the same moment, people would be holding hands in a big circle and chanting 'may all the beings, in all the worlds, be happy and at peace'.

for a moment i wondered if i'd just inadvertently joined a cult.

the message was simple and non-religious enough for me to decide that i was going to be a part of this circle of love reclamation because valentine's day is my favorite holiday and i was lucky enough to stumble upon a group of people who were celebrating the idea of love. we formed a ginormous circle and all held hands and began chanting our message of love. londoners walked through the circle, smiling at the ridiculousness of what they were witnessing... and i smiled back at the ridiculousness of which i was a part.
i held hands with this kind gentleman.
after the circle turned back into a crowd, the dancing and singing began.

the pavement was festooned with messages of love...
and the setting sun cast a magical light...
i knew i'd been a part of something bigger than myself. i stumbled upon another strange place and i knew it was my exact destiny. i might never really know the full story of what i was a part of, but i do know that for a few hours i smiled and laughed and felt the love.

and yes... i did receive a free hug.

(you can't make this s@#t up...

love is in the square

valentine's day is my favorite holiday. what is better than a holiday that celebrates love? in fact, it is the only holiday that i actually send cards.

en route to uganda, i had a 12 hour layover in london. having spent some time living in the UK, i knew i would be sure to witness love in trafalgar square on this chilly valentine's day.

and love was all around...

family love...
friend love...
cigarette love...