currently i am traveling throughout Italy documenting for the wonderful Ciao Andiamo again... as you may remember from this previous post.

as we were leaving a sweet town called Spoleto the other day, there was an elderly Italian woman standing in the distance with her dog outside of her home. i was taken off guard at this 'site' because there was something so beautiful, authentic & gentle about it. of course i wanted to take her photo, but it just didn't feel right snapping a pic & hurrying on my way...

so i asked her, "Posso farle una foto?" (May i take your picture?) in my rusty Italian.
she starred at me blankly.
not knowing if she heard me i asked again a bit louder.
still, just a stare.
that's when my new friend Max, an extraordinary local guide, shouted, "BE BRAVE. just take the foto & go."

every part of me didn't want to do it & yet there was this other bit of me that felt like i had to be 'brave' & try.

so i did it. i snapped the photo.

and in that exact instance i knew i wasn't brave at all.

that i didn't want to capture people just to capture them.

i want to know them. know their story. know their hopes, dreams, fears & wishes.

hear them laugh, maybe even be with them if they needed to cry.

but really SEE them for who they ARE.

truth is, we are all connected.
there are no barriers, even the lack of the same language, that can stop people from getting to know one another if they are willing to try.
& i suppose you never know unless you ask...

after taking the photo, i yelled out gently to the old Italian woman with her precious pup,
"Grazie. Sei molta cara." (Thank you. You are very sweet.)
smiled & then walked away making a vow to
really be 'BRAVE' next time,
in the true meaning of the word to my heart.

...i think i will start by saying, 'Hello. How are you today?'
or in this case, 'Ciao. Buona giornata. Come stai oggi?'
con amore e baci (with love & kisses)

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