Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Saturday Snapshot #1

Children playing in Myanmar, 2018 (Photo by Ross Steinberg)

     This blog is very me, me, me, and in one sense that's fitting: it's my blog.
      In another, there is a risk of over-familiarity, of tiresomeness. I know I sometimes get bored with this blog's central figure, despite generally being rather fond of him myself, as regular readers know all too well.
      So I'm always looking for ways to shift its focus, keep it fresh, shake it up, particularly on the weekends, when it's good for everyone to kick back and relax a little. The Saturday Fun Activity used to do that, when I would post an enigmatic photo and ask readers to guess its location. The problem was, they always figured it out, and I'd have to ship prizes to the winners, and it got time-consuming and repetitive, not to mention expensive and somewhat dispiriting. I was running a game where I never won.
      My son came home from spending five weeks in Southeast Asia last week, and looking over his photos, I was impressed. There were breathtaking pictures of sweeping vistas, mountains and rice fields and rivers, beautiful architecture: pagodas and stupas and palaces, exotic animals: water buffalo and spiders and birds.
      But what I really loved were his pictures of the people he encountered, particularly when hiking through Southeast Asia. Farmer and monks, weavers and cooks and many, many children, such as this quartet in Myanmar, playing a game that involved throwing their sandals—it seemed to my son they were competing to see who could throw one the farthest. Whatever the particular rules, they had a lot of fun doing it.  What makes this picture is the little boy's expression of delight, and, vitally, the thrown sandal at the far left. My kid caught the action at the perfect moment. That's a skill.
     Anyway, that is the picture for today. Readers are invited to send in photos they feel worth sharing. You don't get anything—no prizes, no pay. But I will post your photo and give you credit and say something about it and pass along whatever you have to say about it. If nobody does, then I'll post some of my own, and if that loses interest I'll stop. But it seems worth a try.


  1. Had Kissinger seen children's photos like this one, do you think he would have recommended bombing their country back into the stone age?


    1. Sadly yes, though I should point out that this is not Vietnam, but the former Burma, which I don't believe we bombed, as opposed to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

  2. Absolutely love this image--beautifully framed and perfectly captured. Appreciate that you referred to the "former Burma"--the woman (dead now) who taught me to meditate was from Rangoon. I often hear her voice when I enter into silence, which is not often enough these days. I just found your blog and will pass it along! Thanks for your work. MaryDean


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