“Straw Into Gold”

2009__Oceania_Sacandinavian_Splendors_Cruise-1721

Estonia
Through Harold’s Lens:

Intimate old medieval town
Ambled curved cobblestone alleyways
Lost
Medieval thoughts of life.

Turned rock corner
Built 11th century
Refreshment cafe.

Stunning blond mother
Beautiful blond daughter
Straw into gold.

“May I?”
Her eyes smiled.

Click. Click Click.

“Thank you,” whispered Mr. SLR Nikon.

“Call of Terror”

Receive the full sensual experience of this Post on Through Harold’s Lens. Play the music as you are enjoying the images and words.

0902_South_America_011
ARGENTINA Through Harold’s Lens:

USA.
Auburn, New York
4:12 am.
January 9, 1955.

The brass ringer bell on our rotary phone screams and screams and screams outside my bedroom door.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I’m in deep sleep.

Ring. Ring Ring.

I am only 14.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Old enough to know only bad comes with a call in the black of night.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I’m into horror movies.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I am terrified.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Slapping bare feet rip down the wooden hallway.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Total silence.

A mind-piercing scream rips through my bedroom door. I leap from my sheets. I tear open my door. I’m face to face with my Mother. Wracking in tears. Sucking for air. Eyes wide with terror.

“Maudie”, Mom gasps. The hospital. Her five-month old daughter. Dead. I wrap my arms around Mom’s heaving, sagging shoulders. Mom and I cry.

Please Lord. There is an order to birth. An order to death. Our children are not to die first.

A jet black old rotary in an antique store in Buenos Aires evokes a 50 year old painful memory of an ice cold January morning in upstate New York and the value of life.

“Juniors Win!”

0903_South_America_049
ARGENTINA Through Harold’s Lens:

Like a roaring tornado, the passion and excitement rips through Buenos Aires.

From rooftops, windows, doorways, busses, bicycles and bars, town criers abound.

Sweaty and bloody, Boca Juniors, Argentina’s internationally famous professional futbol team, has won another rough game against one of it’s arch rivals, River Plate.

The wild parties are underway!

“Talking Walls”

0903_South_America_015
ARGENTINA Through Harold’s Lens:

Enter stage right.

I’m tracking the famous, wild, wonderful and wacky world of the walls of Buenos Aires.

True works of art created by talented artists. Some commissioned by the city.

Stroll the streets is strolling through an art gallery…only in Buenos Aires.

“Peace On Earth”

_HMG0802
TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

Out on the Serengeti, the innocence of a little child wrapped in the warm, protective, loving arms of his mother is a universal symbol of a need for peace around our beautiful world.

“Merry Christmas”

_HMG0760
TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

The small innocent children of the Maasai villages out on the vast Serengeti send their love, happiness and smiling joy to all of you.

As I reflect on my Maasai series of images on Through Harold’s Lens over the past few of months, I realize how happy a child can be in with only love and care from family and just a few simple items of life. Being responsible for taking care of a newborn baby lamb. Drawing with a crayon. Playing Tic, Tac Toe in the dirt. Tickling each other with feathers. Creating music with the small harmonica I gave them.

“Learning Curve”

DSC_0106
TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

Another Maasai 15-year old I found spending his six months alone out on the Serengeti.

Through rituals and ceremonies, including circumcision, these Maasai boys are guided and mentored by their fathers and other elders on how to become a warrior.

Although they still live their carefree lives as boys – raiding cattle, chasing young girls, and game hunting – a Maasai boy must also learn all of the cultural practices, customary laws and responsibilities he’ll require as an elder.

“How To Do It”

_HMG0767
TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

Hypnotic music.

Pounding drums.

The slow daily life of other Maasai from the tribal village all around.

This little guy captures it all from the vista of his Mom’s back.

“My Cute Maasai”

_HMG1873
TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

This little Maasai is a cute story.

After I took this photo, he followed me everywhere in the Maasai village out on the Serengeti. I asked my Maasai guide about him. He said he loved my camera. The Maasai see mostly small point & shoot cameras. Mine is an SLR with a large lens. I shot a few more images of him. Then hung the camera strap over his neck and showed him how to click the shutter and shoot. Wow! All his buddies came over and he photographed all of them.

Fun for him! Fun for me! Great memories for both!

“Smallest Warrior”


TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

A small warrior.

Only 15.

I found him out on the Serengeti with five of his buddies. They were all 15-year old warriors to be and of great importance as a source of pride in the Maasai culture.

To be a Maasai is to be born into one of the world’s last great warrior cultures.

From boyhood to adulthood, young Maasai boys begin to learn the responsibilities of being a man (helder) and a warrior. The role of a warrior is to protect their animals from human and animal predators, to build kraals (Maasai homes) and to provide security to their families.

“Hands That Herd”


TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

What I think is amazing about these hands are the numerous age lines and the texture. I found these hands out on the Serengeti. They belong to a Maasai warrior to be who had been herding his tribe’s cattle all of his life.

He was only 15.

“Warrior In Training”


TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

Maasai young boy about 15, who has just completed one of the Maasai Rites of Passage, Emuratta(circumcision). It is performed without pain killers. He is then sent out into the plains alone for six months and is not allowed to bathe.

I found him on the Serengeti.

“Warrior To Be”

DSC_0109
TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

Wearing traditional white chalk paste in circles around his eyes, this young 15-year old Maasai boy is celebrating his completion of the three main rites of passage of the Maasai.

“Cultural Curiosity”


TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

Childhood passes swiftly for Maasai girls. Traditionally married in their teens, their prime duty is to produce sons to increase the father’s prestige within the community.

“Prey”


TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

Slowly our Land Rover rolled down the dusty dirt road through the Serengeti of Maasai country. As we were meandering around a curve I spotted a herd of sheep and goats.

Then I looked behind them.

Spotting this little Maasai carrying the baby lamb all alone on the veld I called “halt”.

Leaping from the Land Rover, I ran about 10 yards, kneeled down and fired my Nikon.

“Mom’s Back”


TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

Very interesting how the Massai woman carry their babies behind them like this. In many parts of the undeveloped world, the babies are carried in front next to their warm, beating heart.