A couple of weeks ago I posted my Summer in Grayscale. Well, this is the colourful side of summer. I’ve enjoyed this summer very much and I am thankful for all the people who’ve made it possible. Most of all, I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity of witnessing such beauty. I’ve also been reading a book called Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi; it’s such a good book! Below you can see a photo of one of my favourite passages, where the author reflects on the purpose of a novel.
Earlier this year I went through some pretty sad stuff and one of my friends told me that maybe the spring would bring a little rebirth. The spring wasn’t that great but this summer has definitely felt like a renewal in lots of ways, especially emotionally. Apart from friends, family and the wonderful people I’ve been working with; taking photographs and reading Nafisi’s book have helped a lot, as has upbeat hip-hop! I am immeasurably thankful.
“There’s so much more to life than we’ve been told
it’s full of beauty that will unfold
and shine like you struck gold my wayward son…”
Josh Garrels, Farther along.
I’ve had some adventures this summer. In early June, I visited my brother in Spain and we went to an amazing aquarium in Valencia — a city I’d never visited. I battled the heat as best as I could and enjoyed myself.
A couple of weeks later, I had the privilege of visiting Brussels. A friend who lives there showed me around the European Institutions and the old town. I took advantage of my short time there to explore and take some photos. I loved the buildings, the food and even the constant confusion as to what language one should speak. I tried Dutch several times but it didn’t quite work; apparently it depends on the neighbourhood you’re in. I was happy to meet some Flemish-speaking Belgians at the airport, even though it was time to leave.
In early July, my mum came to England to visit me. We did some tourism in London — I ended up walking with her along some of the sights where I usually take language students. I took the opportunity of being in London for my own enjoyment to take some photos of popular tourist attractions.
There was plenty of colour this summer but grayscale highlights lines, shapes and the intensity of colour. These features bring forth something that, I think, often gets lost when we see an image in full colour. Enjoy!
She awakens to the
sounds of a rainy morning
Love trickles down
on the window
blurring the mind
Here are some of the photos I’ve taken this month. Most of this month was seen through my sunglasses, which change the colour of things — I’ve tried to add some of that colour through editing the images. Enjoy!
into your imagination
a soft plunge
in the liquid substance
that will sustain it
It begins to unravel
with quick, sharp movements
in all directions —
Then with softer
to the music
of the Sleeping Beauty soundtrack.
I walk into town with the intention of going to church. I make it to the bus stop and then decide that I’ll go to Dane John Gardens instead. My hair feels light and it dances about my head in the soft breeze. I go up to the Dane John Mound, I am surprised by how beautiful Canterbury is. I send this photo to a friend and remain on the mound for a while.
Soon I am surrounded by tourists and as it’s getting chilly I decide to leave. I walk along the wall and stop to look back at Dane John Gardens.I cross the bridge, walk past the bus station and head towards Burgate – it’s one of my favourite streets. I really like walking down that street, especially after it rains. I walk towards the Cathedral and stop to admire a window, just because. Two children are racing each other beneath it so I wait to take my photo, I don’t want to ruin their game.
The way the sunlight falls on the window and the little balcony is lovely. I continue down Burgate towards the Buttermarket where I find out that the Cathedral Café is opening on February 18th! I have high expectations of that café, it used to be a Starbucks but they closed. The rooms are beautiful. I go into the Cathedral and find that there is a service going on. There are no chairs in the nave, just how I like it.
There are a couple of chairs near the choir, I sit down to listen to the sermon. I find it somewhat discouraging; the priest talks a lot about “holy living”, about how we must show good outward behaviour and inner integrity. But he talks as if it all depends on us. I argue with him in my head, what if you feel you can’t control your emotions? What happens when you’re depressed, suicidal, angry? I wait until the end of the sermon but sadly he doesn’t say that there’s room for messiness. I think about Jesus and how his love for me doesn’t change, even when I’m not well-behaved and when I’m angry, cynical and an emotional mess. Down in the crypt I write a prayer on one of those post-its they have and leave through the side door. I walk out through the back to admire the Roman ruins for a while…
I’m beginning to get hungry so I eat a banana while balancing the camera to take photos of the houses in the precincts.
They are so beautiful! I go out of the main gate and turn right. I walk down Sun street and left behind Debenhams. The Salvation Army is playing hymns outside Costa, whose terrace is very busy. I decide to go into the Beaney, a library and museum. I go upstairs to my favourite room…
where I take photos of frames…
I also think the arrangement of the paintings is nice…it must be the blue wall, I have a soft spot for blue.
After that I visit some of the other rooms and make sure I rush by the one with all the stuffed animals and dessicated butterflies – they’re torture for me! Downstairs I stop by the room where they do itinerant exhibitions and take a peek at the sunlight coming through the window behind the white panel…
It’s hilarious. But once I’m outside I realise that one of the employees is cleaning all the writing off the windows, she must not be very amused. The Beaney from outside:
The sky is so beautifully blue! I continue my way towards Westgate and decide to make a detour down Stour street. But first I photograph the facade of Boho – a place that many people have recommended and I have refused to try, that’s how stubborn I am.
Boho is next to one of my favourite buildings in Canterbury but I keep trying to get a good photo and none of them do it justice. I think the fascinating thing about the building is letting it surprise you when you walk on Best Lane towards the High Street. There is a moment between the Olive Grove and the Oxfam shop where the building just jumps at me and I realise how beautiful it is and wish that it wasn’t home to Prezzo and Chimichanga…they just kill the mood. In Stour Street I am ambushed by a crowd of teenagers who speak German and have decided to take photos of the dirty phone booths, it makes me chuckle. I decide that it’s time to take a few last pictures and walk home. I have loved this street lamp since the first time I saw it. It looks gorgeous against the purple sky at twilight. I stop at the bridge to look at the river.