Thursday, December 30, 2010

SWAMI World Traveler

Infusion Tea (1600 Edgewater Drive, College Park) hosted a talk by Swami about his world travels. Frankie Messina acted as the MC for the Soft Exposure event. After studying his notes for the longest time he stood behind the mic and read a poem to start off the evening. He then introduced Swami who he had first met in 1996 at the Florida Film Festival. Swami began his talk with an image of a car crash. He had been working as a computer animator for years when a car crash caused him to re-evaluate what he wanted from life and he began traveling the world.

One of his stories was particularly compelling. He traveled to Hiroshima Japan and visited the A-Bomb Dome. The first day he went as a typical tourist soaking in facts and figures about this building which had been kept in its original condition after the atom bomb was dropped on the city. The next day he returned, intent on finding out what the monument meant to the people of Hiroshima. His broken Japanese made approaching people difficult but he persisted. "Sumimasen. Konnichiwa..." He finally spoke to a Japanese woman who was willing to share her views in her broken English. She saw the building as a symbol of peace. She asked him the same question in return and he had to admit he saw it as a symbol of devastation. She looked to the future while he looked to the past. He said he hoped t0 one day see the building as a symbol of peace as well. An old man overheard the conversation and he asked Swami if he was American. The old man lived as a child on the outskirts of Hiroshima. He vividly remembered seeing the yellow orange glow on the horizon that day. Swami expressed his wish for eternal peace and the old man warmly replied, "You good man." They had their picture taken together both men with their hands raised with the peace sign and the dome in the background.

2 comments:

candoor said...

impressed, i am - i was sitting just out of view in the middle of the room... known as Bugs Webbot on facebook and Ric Candor in the everyday physical world... next time i'm in the same room i'd like to shake your hand :)

and I like that you made Swami look as young as he sounds and feels :)

Swami said...

Tnx Thor. You captured things nicely - in image and in words. And tnx Ric. I do indeed feel young... 50 years young!:)

P.S. My first day at the A-Bomb Dome was dominated by a marathon photoshoot (800 photos) with the intent of making a 3D reconstruction called a "synth." Shots from every angle and many distances are combined to create an novel, immersive 3D experience. Check it out here http://www.photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=b7b9e5b0-300b-4d0b-9f80-c5616e797c48. Read the 'Description' for hints on navigating. Hold down the CTRL (or COMMAND) key to see a "3D point cloud" model of the Dome. If you see curved arrows in the center of the image you can hold CTRL and left-click drag to orbit around! Give it a try!...