BE - I too this photo at an outdoor book market in Paris. Through 2020, many have learned about being rather than doing as we've been in and out of quarantine, shutdowns, and lockdowns. Exploring and adventure doesn't always mean traveling somewhere, join me as I blog and explore!
On occasion I take a pilgrimage to the Szabadság Hid (Liberty Bridge). Tonight, on a rainy evening after a long week I went to quiet my soul, and gaze at both the flow of water and the flow of people. There are many beautiful bridges in Budapest, each with its unique flare. While, many argue the chain bridge is most photogenic, this liberty bridge keeps calling my name. (I wonder if it’s my connection to the liberty bell)
My first visit to Hungary was on a sunny July day in 2014, I stepped foot on the bridge and while I was gazing down the Danube, Jonathan turns to me and confidently says “today is the day you fall in love with Hungary.” I stood there photographing, and as a team, we were exploring a new city. When we returned that evening, I didn’t see this city as anything special. I could only focus on one thing: Kyiv, now that’s a beautiful city. My heart was set on one thing and nothing was going to distract me from getting to Ukraine.
There was great tension, many people had told me “Budapest is the most beautiful city in Europe” but I just couldn’t see it. I captured photos that displayed the beauty, the broad strokes and details that make this city shine: golden twilight, cobblestone streets, iconic bridges, breathtaking parliament, and a fascinating tram system. In that moment on the bridge, I refused to accept the invitation to fall in love, and closed my heart to the things my eyes had witnessed.
I can’t put a finger on the day I let my guard down, but once I did something magical happened. I looked at the photos and saw with my heart what my eyes had seen. I neglected to see the beauty. There weren’t towering mountains or skyscrapers, but the city has a flavor of its own. Not better, not worse, just different, and different is beautiful.
I’d venture to say we all do it: choosing to harden ourselves to something so legitimately attractive right before our eyes. Here’s the thing, being told that you will do something isn’t quite the same thing as it happening organically. I have seen this in so many aspects of my life: faith, community building, professions, and most recently, my attitude towards Hungary. This transformation starts with my attitude I’ve come to learn that when my attitude changes, nothing changes except for the way I see everything. This bridge has been the catalyst for friendships, and has taken one of my camera lenses as victim, but the are everyday moments are just as important. Gazing at the Szabadság blanketed in a thin layer of snow, yellow
carrying people from Buda to Pest and rather than photographing, I stood for a moment with my camera by my side, simply in awe. It amazes me how much difference an attitude makes.
Is there something you are harboring a negative attitude towards? What can you do to change it?