It's Springtime in Queensland and some dear friends of the Berkeley Monastery, who shall remain nameless due to modesty, cleaned out their camera closet and offered me a legacy 30-year old Olympus lens from the film years. Both of them were using Canon cameras now, and instead of discarding the old lens, shared it with an Olympus camera user. An adapter matched the analog lens with the digital body and look at the results! Generosity and natural beauty are a sublime combination.
The Audobon Society has posted a story about peregrine falcons nesting on the 28th floor of a high-rise in Chicago. Dacey Arashiba, an IT consultant, wanted to give a pair of falcons a chance to raise their offspring. He invited Luke Massey, a photographer and writer from England, to crash in his apartment for a month to photograph the birds. The resulting images and story are stunning. And heart-warming.
A delegation of Buddhists and Catholics from the US, including our neighbor, Hozan Alan Senauke, from the Berkeley Zen Center, met recently with Pope Francis. The Holy Father was pleased apparently, as he concluded the meeting with smiles all around.
Two film-makers in China, Tom Fearon and Abel Blanco, every month profile an ordinary Beijinger with an extraordinary story. This month their offering is "Call of Duty", the story of Mr. Yang Guojing, who has kept alive an otherwise forgotten story of a battlefield near the Great Wall. His simple humanity and compassion tells the story of how 21,000 men died in combat yet for various reasons, have been ignored by history. Their video narrates the potential for peace by the descendants of the combatants. Thanks to the Anthill, an online blogging community from China, for bringing this work to light. To watch the video, click here.