(Deutsche Version hier: http://wp.me/p1ZMFw-b )
”There are times and places we wished we’d have a camera to catch the moment. To fotograph what we see, to hold onto it. Sometimes we left the camera elsewhere or it isn’t possible to shoot in that moment. Sometimes we even understand that the experience of that moment can’t be caught on camera.
I have collected a stone for each one of you. In this stone you can put your memories of the present moment, your feelings and emotions, your thoughts. When you take it again into your hands, your memory will be there, you’ll be literally holding it.“
Jusztina gave me the stone. Striped in different shades of brown, with curves and edges it lay in my hand. Not exactly a beauty. Still. I hold on tight to the stone, caressing the surface with my fingertips, trying to soak up this particular moment. The forest behind, the small group of people at the pebble stone beach at the banks of the Donau, called Duna here, and the sky which seeimingly mirrored the water in its cascading shades of blue.
It was autumn in Hungary. A group of firespinners and jugglers had gathered in a foresty area to play, learn and spend time with each other. I had ventured out with Markus, a good friend of mine, from Berlin. ‘Direction east’. We had found the ‘firebirds’ through contacts and on this particular morning, Jusztina, a hungarian firespinner and dance-theatre-performer, had gone with us to the beach.
I didn’t have the slightest clue that the stone wouldn’t vanish like most of my travel-souvenirs, but that on the contrary it would stay with me for all the coming years.
Long time it stayed in the various pockets of my jeans, then it wandered from bag to bag, depending which accompanied me. Sometimes it got lost and I couldn’t find the stone back. Then it surprisingly appeared again. As I travelled to Marocco round about two and a half years ago, the stone was in my luggage. As I told the story of the stone to my travel-companion Marie, she got out of her bag a cut off dreadlock. This dreadlock travelled with her to bring her luck!
Many moments stay unfotographable. Laughing with strangers and friends, a feeling of understanding or the all embracing fear that sometimes overcomes us. So much is hidden and hard to capture in pictures. I can frame them in stories or silently smile upon them. The stone still travels with me up till today. It was in my feverishly cramping hand when I was fighting food poisoning in Pakistan, jingling next to turkish Lira and Indian Rupees in my purse, flirting in my hand when standing next to sleeping camels on the beach in Karachi, chilling out on the ground of my waiste bag while walking over a festival in the desert and coming onboard with me on the plane to Afghanistan. It’s just a stone, but for me it is like a photo album of past emotions and moments.