Children are novices at life in general and find many tasks and demands they do in school full of uncertainty. They are more limited than adults in how much they can attend to and memorise. Prayer develops the spiritual lives of the children but has to be achieved at their pace and understanding. We all need to pray for an increase of faith. When life goes smoothly we do not see a need to pray but when things go wrong we realise the importance of them. Prayer is a very intimate and personal experience. The good habit of prayer that is nurtured and encouraged will help children later on in their adult journey of faith.
Revisiting my photographs from those same trips is dislocating in a different way. Always I find my photographs replete with remainders, pedestrian details that contradict and undermine the equally pedestrian account I committed to words. The colors are different. Drops of scarlet blood on a hard tarmac black as obsidian. An overturned brass samovar in a dingy brown train compartment. A bright alarum of pink cherry blossoms against a glass-flat cobalt sea. There is something about those moments, fugitively apprehended as they might have been, that seem to me now odd and decisive. They don’t at all seem like random samples of the ongoing. I never think, What was so special about this? I think instead, Yes, I remember now exactly what was so special about this. They mutely twitch with escaped significance. When we see what we saw, we are reminded of what was apprehended — and let go.