Miles and miles that wave traveled! Boooommm… it exploded on the breakwater and then another. A singular moment. Claudia and I were sitting by the rocks. The group of fisherman were repairing their lines that had suffered with the struggle of their heavy catch. Jokes and more jokes, a little village gossip here and there. Life and handcraft wisdom flowed thru the words of the more experienced ones. The younger ones were listening, just like they were participating on the gossip and jokes. My ability as a sea captain was questioned with irony and humor. Everyone included myself laughed. I looked at Claudia’s eyes and then and there we knew we were part of that circle. No secret society going or anything like it! Just life happening on the sea side, like it does everyday on that island. A unique and extraordinary moment thru our eyes. Being laughed at is part of the entertainment and everyone on the circle would have its turn. But the fact that it happened to me in an natural way was the clue that had led my eyes to Claudia. We had bonded with the group. We were part of what was going on, whatever it was.
We took our cameras and the audio equipment out of the bag, slowly and consciously not to interrupt the scene. There was a lion sleeping and any brusque movement would wake him up. The lion in site was the spontaneity of the moment. The magic in the air. Just like we wished, we managed not to wake him and not crush the instant with our cameras as we started filming. Thats it! I thought. Thats how we like it! The sun went down on the horizon and we packed our cameras and the fisherman packed their gear. Everyone went on their way. No goodbyes, no handshakes. If the universe allows, tomorrow we will be together again…
The passage above described happens with regularity on our travels. It is quite a job and we are slowly getting the hang of it. From our point of view, there is no trick to it. Spontaneity can not be tricked! But we find that there is a way. There is a manner of photographing or filming people as to arrive with images that capture their roots. The subtleties imprinted on their eyes by their sentiments. I am not the one to say that we are doing that! But that is what we aim! And the more we travel the more we see it is the way to do it for us, to allow ourselves a lot of time on the places we arrive. The time with the people and their sentiments, the time with the scenery and its vastness that we wish to grasp.
It is curious thing. When we arrive somewhere and we rush with our cameras what we usually get from people is silent looks expressing their no or posed faces expressing something that they are not. After a week or two or maybe five or more we and our images get invited. In a natural way, like friends inviting friends to do something together. Actually, not “like” friends. We became friends.
More and more we see that this is how we want to do it and we strive to learn and remind ourselves about it. Chronicle the world and its people, slowly traveling and spending time in a particular region instead of ticking a list of various places and getting snapshots of faces that we do not understand. Claudia and I share the same feeling, the feeling that we do not just want to travel somewhere, we want that somewhere to travel in us. Molding ourselves!
The woman on the portrait of this post was gardening at her home at Fajazinha (on the island of Flores). While we were walking on the streets, we saw her working and we went over to talk. She was a great storyteller and after a long conversation and a few stops for portraits, I asked if I could film her talking. She asked me not to! She said, that when she watches television, she does not understand how can people do that! How can people pretend in front of a camera….