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Tag Archive: Unwitting Pilgrim

Reflections along the way

I’ll never forget walking up to Hősök tere, Heroes’ Square, at about ten thirty on my last night in Budapest. In 1989, 250,000 people had gathered in the square for the reburial of Imre Nagy – alongside the heroic Pál Maléter and others – but that night I found myself alone amidst the indescribable beauty and grandeur of the millennium monument and its colonnades. I wandered to the middle of the square, exactly central, sat cross legged on the ground and relaxed; a lone rollerblader glided gracefully by and circled the monuments, as if sent by some benevolent choreographer to perform a silent ballet and add to the...
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Everything is Illuminated

I watched the sunrise, yesterday, but you could be forgiven for thinking that I didn’t. It’s become an August bank holiday tradition to sleep under the stars. We’ve been in a cave, on a hillside, and yesterday found us on a beach. As tends to be the way with sleeping in the open, I was awake at dawn with my eyes scanning the eastern horizon. A low line of clouds hung in the sky and the time for sunrise came and left without that beautiful slither of gold making it’s appearance. I didn’t see the sunrise, but I knew that it had....
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Fighting For The Furthest Heart

I’ve often wondered about war photographers. How did Robert Capa feel when he captured the image of a man dying in a Spanish battle? How does it feel to observe yet not have the power to intervene? There’s a moral tension between the duty to tell the world the story and the duty to join the struggle. Martin Luther King Jr understood this; a photographer once put down his camera and waded in to try and stop police brutality. King reprimanded him severely, because now the world would never see what had happened – all he had done was add...
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A Powerful Declaration

Some moments are created awkward, some are created special, some romantic, some painful, and some? Some are as near to perfect as can occur in a fallen world. Last Saturday afternoon fell firmly into the latter group. It was almost five o’clock and the sun hung low in the sky and cast a wonderful golden glow over the whole scene. We were on Isamilo Hill, Mwanza, Tanzania, on a little dirt road that runs up the hillside. Next to the road is enough of a dusty area to play football, and surrounding that a grassy knoll. Along the roadside are...
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Wounded

While I was in Paris last spring I had the pleasure of visiting the Musée d’Orsay to see a few exhibitions, including a retrospective of the work of Gustave Doré. One of the biggest pieces in the collection they were showing was his extravagant oil painting; Christ leaving the Praetorium. There, in the centre of the canvas, is a figure draped in the purest white; a halo offers a luminescent glow around a crown of thorns that seems to have barely left a scratch on the perfect hair it sits upon. The label may have said it was a painting of...
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