On Smoke and Fire

I am so grateful to this blog and to you readers. It has provided me with a wonderful outlet for my re-entry into life after visiting India. I went into the city (Chicago) yesterday for the CAA conference and felt so raw and out of place. This is probably not uncommon after an arduous trip to a far away land.

train station in Delhi

As you know, I have been working on my Burn series for a couple of years now. The first few days in India felt like I was in one of my smoky photographs...the entire northern part of India was cloaked in a very dense fog.

Golden Temple

This morning there was an article in the Wall Street Journal titled, India's Holy Ganges to Get a Cleanup. Every Hindu has a dream of being creamated on the shores of the Ganges for complete liberation, adding their ashes to the holy river.

It is a city where life and death, water and fire, light and dark are inseperable. I don't think it was coincidental that I came to Varanasi, the city of eternal fire.

Hindu priest at daily religious ceremony paying homage to fire

I just located another blog by Daniel Gerber, that gives you a very interesting look at Manikarnika Ghat, where most of the creamations take place. He gives a very indepth description of his visit. I was amused and comforted as I encountered many of the same interchanges with the locals at that particular ghat (stairs or a passage leading down to a river).