For almost a year until May 2012, Marilyn Monroe's pose from the 1955 film 'The Seven Year Itch' was a central attraction in downtown Chicago 's Magnificent Mile.
Since then this 26 feet 'Forever Marilyn' statue has graced Hollywood's very own Palm Springs, arriving just in time for her would have been 85th birthday.
Towards the end of 2013, this 34,000 pound statue will journey all the way back east to New Jersey, hometown of its designer Seward Johnson.
It is an interesting anecdote that Johnson is the grandson of Robert Wood Johnson co-founder of the well known multinational 'Johnson & Johnson', and worked there until he was fired by his uncle.
A visit to Hong Kong is incomplete without the 268 step climb to Tian Tan sitting Buddha statue at Ngong Ping in Lantau Island. Erected in 1993 across one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist sanctums ‘The Po Lin Monastery’, the 111 feet tall 'Big Buddha' as it is called, took twelve years to build and is one of Hong Kong’s most popular attractions; more so due to the efficient Ngong Ping Cable Car cable car ride to the top which offers breath-taking views of the mountains and the ocean.
What intrigued me at Ngong Ping was the swastika embedded on Big Buddha’s chest and also on Buddha within Po Lin Monastery. Swastika originates from the Sanskrit word 'svasti' meaning good fortune, luck and well being and is commonplace in Hinduism since the symbol originally represented the revolving sun, fire or the circle of life. In Buddhism too, not surprisingly, the swastika symbolizes auspiciousness and good fortune.
Due to the usage of the counter clockwise version of the swastika in the Nazis' flag, it has became a symbol of hate and anti-Semitism in the western world. Interestingly though in Hinduism this counter-clockwise version of swastika with the arms bent to the left called sauvastika or sathio, symbolizes night, magic, or purity, and also the destructive powers of goddess Kali. In Hinduism the swastika or sathio is used to mark the good opening or beginning of anything important; account books of merchants or entry doors to households etc.
The swastika symbol was even used by the Navajo Native Americans; who sadly discontinued its use after its Nazi association.
Christopher Columbus was perhaps not too far off when he mistook Native Americans as Indians; given the similarities in their spiritual roots. There is more to that association than meets the eye.
Winds of change are blowing hard at the grassroots level despite stalemates in Washington.
In 2012, 13.2 percent of domestically produced electricity in United States came from renewable sources. Globally, renewable energy's contribution to energy production was 16 percent. United States makes up 21.2% of world wind power capacity as of 2012.
A recent September 2013 study by U.S National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that $7 billion worth of fuel can be saved by switching to wind and solar.
An earlier 2010 NREL study on wind and solar had indicated that a 35 percent contribution from wind and solar energy into existing electric power systems can reduce fuel costs by 40% and carbon emissions by 25%–45% without extensive infrastructure changes.
As per NREL that is roughly equivalent to taking 22–36 million cars off the road. That's pretty darn significant. The alternate energy money ball is about to roll uphill.
When I observed and shot this scene, I kind of knew why it spoke to me but I did not dwell on the thought until later.
Thinking back on those moments I realized it spoke to me of key attributes of Equanimity, balance, clarity, harmony, tranquility and depth. So I ended up fine tuning it to convey that feeling.
Would love to hear your thoughts on it.