Sometimes I feel like a speck in the sand. My insignificance to the shifting sands of time once led me to despair. But the shifting sands of later years have turned the sense of smallness into awe and gratitude. Joshi Daniel’s photo “A Speck in the Sand” inspires a joyful meditation.
Joshi and I met at The College of Wooster. My recollection is that Joshi cleverly disguised himself as an empty pew while I was in the pulpit in McGaw Chapel. Just two specks in the sand temporarily shifted to India and Minnesota.
— Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, January 16, 2018
An email from Joshi Daniel Photography arrived today, the first anniversary of the publication of 40,000 words. Searching back into the site’s archives, Joshi’s self-portrait “Living on the Edge” seemed to capture the sense of the 40,000 words of Be Still! in one photograph. Joshi and I share a heritage. We are both preacher’s kids who met at The College of Wooster where Joshi was a student. Joshi perched himself on the rock at arms length from my perch on the pulpit of McCaw Chapel. All these years later, Joshi’s still living on the edge with photographs worth a thousand words.
Scroll down for Joshi Daniel’s photograph that inspired this reflection.
Tourists and residents see things differently. Actually, it’s more than that. They see different things, like the farmer walking through the field in Kumta, and this tourist website that introduces would-be visitors to Kumta.
Today we’re tourists in Beynac-et-Cazenac, one of the loveliest places we’ve ever experienced. Well, i,e. experienced as tourists. But even a tourist (we’ve rented a house for the week (pictures to follow) recognizes the slower pace of this medieval town on the banks of the Dordogne River.
The Experiment in International Living (EIL) offered a deeper way of seeing the world forty years ago. That summer I lived with a host family in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Immersed in the daily life of my Slovakian family and students at the university, I was not a tourist. I cared nothing about the sites a tourist might visit. I walked everywhere, paying attention to where I was, looking more deeply, more thoughtfully – being more present, one might say – less disembodied, less virtual, less distracted, not as entertained, but so much happier in my body.
Like the Experiment in International Living, Kosuke Koyama encouraged me to slow down, to walk instead of run by, drive past, or fly over – to see the dailyness and the natural field of the man Joshi’s photograph. God, said Kosuke, is a three-mile-an-hour God who meets us at the pace of human being walking.
Momentarily, we’ll walk very slowly down the steep hill into the village on Sunday morning in this beautiful place. If we go to fast, we’ll fall on our faces.
- Gordon C. Stewart, Beynac-et-Cazenac, June 12, 2016.
Joshi Daniel’s photograph reminds viewers of the power of inner joy. Thank you, Joshi, for using your extraordinary gift in a way that makes the world a better place.