Deep in the rain forests of the Indian state of Meghalaya, bridges are not built, they’re grown. For more than five hundred years locals have guided roots and vines from the native Ficus Elastica (rubber tree) across rivers, using hollowed out trees to create root guidance systems. When the roots and vines reach the opposite bank they are allowed to take root. Some of the bridges are over one hundred feet long and can support the weight of fifty people.
I never knew how alone I was until I concentrated, hard, on the gentle rain.
Each heated drop would touch the mud around me with a forceful beat, leaving me with no comfort from the beating rhythm of my own existence.
I absolutely hate it when they tangle themselves in one other like that. I needed them. I needed the trees and the wind, to be beautifully synchronized when the ukulele plucks its strings. And the rain and the mud, to not make a mess, but to create wonderful bistre children after feeling like they had nothing left. I needed them, to not fight against the earth, but to instead, kiss it.
But they didn’t work together. Even the grass, the sun, the flowers and seas let me down. All I wanted to do was drop to the floor and let my heart flop out of the cage. A cage with a key, that I had lost to the clouds many years ago. All I could truly do was lay there and pretend.
Milk Lake, Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan. Sulfurous fumes vented in the bed of this marshy lake turn the water murky. After gradually precipitating, the sulfur forms whitish-yellow or pale gray layers in the lake bed. Popularly known as Milk Lake, the lake is only approximately 40°C (104°F) in temperature, and not the 90°C (194°F) or more found in some hot springs.
"As women, we are taught to be tiny. To have small bodies, to never be imposing. The ideal of our gender are thin and childlike, hairless and dainty. We are defined by our bodies; defined by our control over them. We are taught to obsess over our physicality and to be repulsed by our desires and intelligence’s.
We are taught to walk scared late at night. We cradle our keys between our perfectly manicured fingers, walking gracefully like a baby antelope in a herd of lions. That our virginity defines our character. That I am a frigid bitch if I do not fuck him, and a dirty slut if I do.”
Michelle K., The Truth About Growing Up A Woman.
Sophie Calle, Prenez Soin De Vous (Take Care of Yourself), 2007.
"Take Care of Yourself is a break-up letter (Calle’s) then-boyfriend (Grégoire Bouillier, dubbed ‘X’) sent her via e-mail. Calle took the e-mail, and the paralyzing confusion that accompanies the mind’s failure to comprehend heartbreak, and distributed it to 107 women of various professions, skills and talents to help her understand it – to interpret, analyze, examine and perform it. The result of this seemingly obsessive, schoolyard exercise is paradoxically one of the most expansive and telling pieces of art on women and contemporary feminism to pass through (the major art centers) in recent years."