Conversations over Coffee

Conversations with Strangers

When I first thought about this post I had an idea in my mind to slip away for an afternoon, camera in hand and walk through my beautiful city. I wanted to capture images of strangers going about their everyday life. There is a certain beauty in this everyday life that we can often overlook in our own lives. Sash from Inked in Colour did something similar a while back and her post was to be my inspiration.

Then busy became the new normal in this house again and I postponed last month’s Conversation over Coffee. In that time something shifted. To capture the beauty of everyday life faded in significance to what was happening in this everyday life. A thread of sadness had weaved its way into everyday life. Perhaps this thread has always been there. Yet this last month everywhere I looked all I could see was this thread.

Seeing strangers, in situations of horror, tragedy and sadness has overwhelmed me. It has been hard to switch off from the unrelenting news reports. The stories of a plane and a missile are stories that shred the human spirit. Boats and people seeking refuge, held captive at sea rock with inhumanity. Children dead on beaches in airstrikes scream the screams that should not be happening. Husbands killing wives, next door and down the street. Humanity has lost its way.

Conversations with Strangers

You may argue that humanity has been losing its way for a long time. There have been world wars, wars on terror, mass shootings and people locked in basements for years. We argue over gender, we argue over race, we argue over sexuality, we argue over power. Perhaps it is never going to change. Yet, these news reports and the brutal and shocking images have left me with nothing but heart break.

In one way you could say that I have a choice. I could switch off from the tragedy. Stop it from coming through into my life. But you see even when I do choose to switch off I cannot escape this lingering, twisting thread and the sadness that hangs in the air. For my head may be heavy, but my heart is heavier knowing that so much suffering in the lives of strangers is happening in our world today.

In their suffering I feel powerless. I feel extinguished. Part of me wants to scream out that any of us can let this happen, let alone those who should govern. Another part of me cowers knowing that in time we will forget. Our social media will offer us our insignificant happiness and again we will take it.

Conversations with Strangers

So where I wanted to capture the beauty of strangers and their everyday, instead I sit and I ache in their grief. The sorrow and torment that strangers face in their everyday is the only conversation I have. Even in our silence the conversation still takes place. The beauty of our everyday coexists with the tragedy of our everyday. One is just as real as the other.


The next Conversations over Coffee link will open on
Thursday August 28, 2014

Hope you are inspired by next month’s theme ~
Conversations with Colour ~ everyone is welcome x

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