The Answer is Yes
Cuzco, Peru 2016
I’m the only one left here in Cusco. Each student has slowly returned home. It’s time to rest and charge batteries before heading to the pilgrimage of Quyllur Riti.
Before the workshop knowing the persons who were coming I had a good feeling that this workshop was going to be very special, but had no clue that it was going to be so special!
Like never before, we connected, we felt like family, we took care of one another. I continue to attribute this intimacy to the more than ever evident spiritual presence that pervades each of my workshops and that graciously and mysteriously bond all of us.
It has been a true privilege to lead the group The Answer Is Yes not just for the beautiful images that each student was able to take in a short period of time, but also because each one managed to show his or her own sensibility through their personal way of feeling life. It seems easy, but it’s far from that.
During the workshop I also announced that Chad Anderson”s soulful images from the Sacred Valley, where he has been returning with me for five years, have finally reached the necessary strength to be the foundation of his future book to come, which will be published by BPP. It was an emotional moment that we both felt as we hugged each other as all the other students were clapping their hands.
As I like to say about my work, his images will let us know when they will be ready to come to light. Chad knows that he needs to continue plumbing the depth of this incredible magic land.
As he wrote in 2012:”I thought one more trip to Peru would wrap things up. A few more pictures, situations I had narrowly missed on my previous wanderings in this wonderful country and that should be it. I would be finished with Peru. My fourth trip, third with Ernesto. Time to move on……and yet things are different this trip. As different as the last trip was to the previous. I need more time in this country. How do you make a meaningful presentation of something so intimate but so vast??I found more successful images this trip than the previous 3 trips combined and still they are inadequate for telling this story. ?So I will be back next year, God willing. Thank you Ernesto for your guidance and for unparalleled access into a world so few will see.”
Chad did keep his promise and has returned twice since then. It shows in his work. All the students could see the breadth of it. He has followed my tenet of returning to the same location over and over again.
I’ve been working on the Sacred Valley for the last seventeen years and I continue to feel that I’m just scraping the surface.
I’m starting realising that having said, in all these years, that I’ve felt the presence of the great Peruvian photographer Martin Chambi in my wanderings is no coincidence.
“The Pacha mama as the native people call their land in Quechua, has given us all an invaluable gift, allowing us to walk her mountains and valleys in search of our own souls.”
Sandra’s words are a testament on how we all felt everyday, and how close she felt to the people we encountered, and on how she felt about our profound friendship. We both know now that we belong here for reasons still unclear to us.
This workshop has also been very special for my encounter with my little two angels who saved my life as I got lost and was feeling very sick while trying to ascend a mountain following the pilgrims. I’ll never forget their generosity and their kindness. Thank you Daniel and Marcos for holding my hands. Thank you Brendan, Calvin, Chad, Daniel, David, Elke, Jim, Milton, Monica and Sandra for making it all possible. Thank you LIFE!