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Ted Szukalski

Gallery of fine art photography.

Come as you are

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We all know the song “Tell me why I don’t like Mondays” and for me today was one of those Mondays. I’ve opened my email to read of death of my friend. He died lonely in Beijing hospital suffering from incurable cancer. He was young and he was one of “beautiful” people. Lived and loved his life.

I went for a walk to deal with the sinking feeling. I’ve found a spot to sit down and started to recall things we did together.

The place started to fill in with people who I have not payed too much attention to. Than suddenly an older lady came to me and asked me “What is happening here?” I was not sure why she asked me or what she was referring to until I’ve looked around. A large group of young people have gathered near by and almost all of them had either piercings, coloured hair, distinct clothing or something else making the whole group really noticeable. Amongst them walked a Hare Krishna man giving away his books. It was very obvious why this lady asked me this question – I was the only one without any “tribal markings”.

I’ve answered her “they just people meeting their friends”. She repeated the word “people” and walked away.

She managed two things in one go, break my meditation and bring my attention to the group, which surrounded me.

Out went the camera and I took two photographs. Firstly the girl. I looked at her and I knew how I am going to title her portrait straight away: Come as you are

The Hare Krishna man was kind enough to agree to my second photograph of the day. He was there with a much younger disciple. Gone were the loud Hrekrishna songs I remember from the past. He was a keen observer of people. He seemed to select very carefully who to approach and I have not seen anyone refusing the book.