I was photographing at a hospital in Laos with the team from Doctors Without Borders, and I turned around and noticed one of these sheets blowing in the wind. As usual, I had my camera preview set to black and white and the shape and motion really caught my eye. (Be careful with the volume level if you are using a laptop or tiny speakers—YouTube really beat up the audio!)
If you can’t see the video above, please click here.
I don’t know if anyone else finds it beautiful—or meditative—maybe I do as I simply have an emotional attachment to that experience in Laos. Sometimes I find it hard to separate the experience while photographing something and the actual thing being photographed. Maybe it’s the fact that I know this sheet was from the operating theater and people have lived and died on it. Maybe to most people it’s just a piece of fabric drying on a line someplace they’ll never see.
I could probably come up with a thoughtful metaphor for the sheet symbolizing how a person I knew moved gracefully on the earth and was as thin and weightless as that sheet when she left it. Maybe there is more there than meets the eye—but maybe not. Maybe one has to know the story behind the image to find meaning in it. Or better yet, can impart their story, their meaning to it.