Yesterday was one of those days I had no plans. No interviews lined-up, no women to meet, no motivation. I guess the heat is getting to me at last. Or maybe yesterday was just one of those days of questions and doubts about what I am doing and if I am doing it right and who cares about the photos I take and why shall I continue with this project and how and when I will be able to make a book out it. A day where everything you asks of yourself has no answer and the more you ask the more questions you come up with. It’s like a vicious cycle and there is no end to it, but to get out of the house and go shoot some.
People from the outside here are telling me that I have the best life in the world and I do, but sometimes it’s very lonely and discouraging being on my own all the time, being my own boss 24/7 and not having, but myself to tell me keep on going or stop.
I spend my days dwelling on trying to show something so subtle and so difficult just to really try to understand something inside myself: The Spiritual Beauty of the Orthodox Jewish women is indeed the same spiritual beauty of any other woman, it is just a bit more restrictive and a lot more demanding, but in a nut shell, if we learn to “love ourselves as creatures of something bigger than us, we are half way done respecting ourselves and loving ourselves so that others can go that direction to.
Yet, today and in this past month, I have found it harder and harder to get to the point of “loving myself,” because being among these religious women has not always being easy and breezy.
When I am around them, I often reflect about their lives and how the live by morals and principles that, although taken to the extreme, are indeed the RIGHT values all of us should live by and sometimes we do not. Every time I interview and photograph one of them, I go deep inside myself and try to understand what is that I am still looking forward in life to get to the inner peace these women seem to have. I know I reach it sometimes during meditation, I know I am still when everything moves around me, but this feeling is NOT ALWAYS there and I wish it were so I too could find my soul mate and start a family.
All of this to say that yesterday, out of all the mess and the thinking and then dwelling about my book and the photos I am still missing and the ones I have got, I walked to the Kotel and I “crushed” a beautiful wedding of two 60-years old people who had faced drama and pain in their lives with the loss of their previous significant others and now they have found themselves another companion for the rest of their lives.
I am not sure how they did it, but I know there is a very specific reason why I walked down a particular street today in the Sefardi neighborhood and not another and magically, turning the corner, I saw this couple.
I snapped away whatever I had time to capture and this little jewel came up above the bunches because it signifies to me the continuity of life we often forget. These women are not young, they are not virgins and they have many children already, but that hand shake, that smile and the tilt of the head of the bride is a gesture of peace, of transcendental happiness, of amazing grace.
I too want that. I too need that. I am so determined to find it that I am forgetting that it shall find me when I least expected and I am the most ready to receive.