A glance to the future

Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

What's next in our lives?
It’s common to say “I wish I had known”, thinking that may be if we’d had the chance to foresee future events we could’ve been able to avoid undesirable twist in our lives. And it certainly might be.
However ever since I watched the Flashforward TV series I’ve been thinking how much we could really avoid bad things to happen without affecting other aspects in our life?
The show takes some of the elements described in the novel with the same name written by Roger J. Sawyer, a Canadian author whose stories are frequently related to science.
Although there are several differences between the book from 1999 and the TV series released in 2009, the main plot about people being able to foresee their own future remains.
With this knowledge the lives of the characters change forever. They wonder how truthful their visions are until the doubt appears making them wonder what they should do, either fight against their own destiny or let life take its own course.
They also wonder how much it’s possible to change their own faith, and how much they actually are able to control what happens to them at any given time.
As they go on with their lives, another question arises: how much they have changed their own lives while trying to avoid that fatal destiny seing just for a few moments?, and how this new future will lead them to a safe ground or to another fatal situation?
For every character the answer is different, the same as the final resoult of the desicions made during this process.
As for the readers or viewers, apart from getting a restless feeling about what’s to come, they get themselves a glance to their own future as it’s hard not to deal with the question “Shall I read the book? or Shall I watch the tv series?”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

A dome church in Puebla, Mexico
Where the angels go to rest.
One of the things that I find most fascinating is looking up and trying to reach with my camera every single detail that has being placed inside of a dome, so faraway that become unreachable for our hands, but not for our eyes.

Ups and downs of San Fancisco

Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

A lively place to visit.
I love wandering in bookstores the same as I love wandering around cities. The bigger the place, the happier I am.
One of these days that I was touring around in one of these bookstores I came across with a lovely package.
It was a box full of images of San Francisco. I love San Francisco, so it’s needless to say I couldn’t help myself. Next thing I knew, I had the box in my basket.
This box was close. So, the only thing I had it was the promise of a wonderful discovery.
As soon as the promise became an acquisition, I finally opened it.
Inside there was this lovely hardcover book called San Francisco: A past to present photo tour.
Named it as a Tourist toolkit by the publisher, Whitman Publisher, the book certainly can become a kind companion for someone who travels to the city very well know for its streets that go up and down all around.
The photo tour comes with short and enjoyable explanations that take the reader to a trip to the story of San Francisco that starts with the story of how the famous so called Painted Ladies became this series of houses in charming colors by the Alamo Park.
The trip continues stopping by the most famous San Francisco landmarks, sharing with the reader a series of photographs of old and new scenes that show how the city has changed throughout the years.
As a charming touch, the publisher came up with the nice idea of preparing a set of little postcards with short messages where more information about the landmarks is share with the readers.
In the end, this tourist took kit becomes a wonderful place where the mind is free to travel around, either the traveler is actually in San Francisco, or seated on a comfortable couch at home, somewhere in the world.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers

Magnificent beauty
I never get tired to look at flowers. To realize how marvelous they are. As fragil they might seam, they’re strong enough to deal with the weather. As shy they might look, they always managed to leave us speechless with all their colorful splendor.

Deep down in the underground

Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

Two faces of Dostoyevsky.
Two years before Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote his famous novel Crime and Punishment, he developed a quite dense novel called Notes from the Underground.
At the beginning, the story takes the form of an essay in which the main character, just known as the Underground man, takes a harsh reflection about his current condition and life around himself.
As the story advances, it creates a weird relationship between the main character and the reader. This conexion becomes something really hard to break, even though the reading gets more and more intense and some times, even painful.
The second part of the book takes more the form of a novel and much more of the elements that make recognizable Dostoyevsky’s style, appear in the story.
This is when the Underground man becomes more cynical, but still quite reflexive about the world around him and how his own life impacts the rest of the world close to him.
When the end of the story arrives, it’s not so hard to feel some relief, but at the same time, some sort of satisfaction for having being able to walk through the whole rough path along with the Underground man, that for several instants gives the impression of being Dostoyevsky himself.
Surprisingly, after finishing this somehow tortuous book, the desire to read Crime and Punishment increases, as well as a refreshing feeling of knowing that at the end of this story, not only the main character, Raskolnikov, achieves some tranquility and peace of mind, but also gets the impression that the very same author reached some kind of sense of completeness while writing this novel.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance

By NVS
Entrance to the Pritzker Theater at the Millenium Park.
A singular view to the Chicago skyline from a unique location in the city.

The man who defeated the sea

Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

Against the waves.
Not so long ago, I had the chance to see the movie In Love and War, based upon the book by Henry Serrano Villard and James Nagel.

The story shows the crucial moment in which Heminghway turns from and optimistic young man into a tough writer that shows the ways of war and life in a crude way.

Althoug the movie was filmed a long time ago (1996), watching it gave me a new perspective of the American author. his work and the circumstances which marked his writing.

That also made me appreciate even more one of my favorite short stories: The Old man and the sea.

I got this book many years ago, and I didn’t stop reding it until I finished it. Back then I got completely fascinated by the extraordinary way the words were presented by Hemingway and how all these words suddenly were transformed into very clear images in my mind, that allowed me not only to see the old fisherman fighting with the huge fish first, and the sharks later on, but also even to smell the salt of the sea and to hear the waves crashing into the little boat.

Now, every time I happen to be nearby a beach where the boats arrive with their fresh cargo, the amazing story of Santiago, the brave fisherman, comes to my mind.