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Many native cultures don’t allow pictures to be taken because they believe it steals a piece of a person’s soul. And if you think about it, a picture is meant to evoke an emotional response from the viewer — love, hate, lust, longing, joy, sadness. If that isn’t the essence of a soul, I’m not sure what is.

A couple of years ago I was on a solo trek to London and wandered over to the British Museum. I sat for a rest in the Great Hall (which is a marvelous space). I was people watching and there

Great Hall, British Museum

was a large group of what appeared to be Japanese schoolgirls. Two of them approached me, camera in hand, and thinking they wanted me to take their picture, smiled and reached for the camera. It soon became clear that they wanted me not to TAKE the picture, but to be IN the picture. I tried to explain that I was American, not British, thinking they’d rather have a native in the shot, but not taking “no” for an answer, the picture was quickly snapped and the girls were on their way.

I’ve often wondered what happened to that picture. And with the advent of the earthquake and Tsunami, wondered further if the picture is still safely tucked inside a photo album at the top of some Japanese closet, or perhaps washed out to sea with so many other, more precious, memories.

My focus now, is on more recent images. Yesterday I had the MRI on my spine done. I know that my doctor will get the results sometime in the next 48 hours before I see him. But where those images go, who will see them, what conclusions they will draw, what care will be taken in the analysis, is a mystery to me.

I hope the two Japanese schoolgirls (and my picture) are safe in Japan, and that the images of my spine are the first step in getting relief for my back.

And I hope that whatever images you form today are filled with sunshine.

Thanks for checking in.