I am one who knows how this blogging experience can change a person, for I have been profoundly changed. Later this month it will be six years since I began synch-ro-ni-zing. While it is my spiritual practice to write, and my creative play to take photographs, is it also an act of rapt listening to sit in the blog "theater" where you, my blog friends, share your own explorations. I evolve, much as a result of our engagement with one another.
Within just a couple of months of starting synch-ro-ni-zing, my outlook was transformed by one blogger. When I had just a couple of family members reading my blog, including my sister Ginnie who explained to me the ways of blogs, having published at In Soul for a year already, M.A. Rauf stopped in from India for a warm and welcoming visit. Ginnie had taught me to reciprocate blog visits as part of bloggy etiquette, and so I visited Rauf's Daylight Again after that first greeting from him. ("Rauf" — or "rauf" as he prefers — is pronounced "rah-oof.")
Rauf doesn't blog much now, a real loss to me and his many followers from all four corners of the world. But he still takes photographs on his travels around India, and he still rages against agri-businesses that threaten not only all of our health, but the very lives of farmers in India who literally cannot survive financially and consequently commit suicide as families. When you watch this YouTube slideshow I made of a sampling of Rauf's images (please watch, it's just six minutes), observe the faces of his subjects, who cannot resist his charm: even Mother Earth smiles when Rauf lifts his camera.
Today is Rauf's birthday (January 8; it's already the 8th in India). Even though he and I have never met in person, and may never meet (though I hope that one day Don and I will get to India to meet him!), he is my brother. Happy Birthday, Rauf! This is a small "thank you" for the gift you are to all who know you. Watch full screen to be wrapped in the photos, and listen to "Time Remembered" by the Bill Evans Trio.