Cuba :: Part I

Earlier this evening I posted a short entry with a link to my first round of photos from Cuba, thinking I would be off to bed soon, but since my internal clock is still fairly out of whack I'm taking advantage of it to get this ball rolling.  I feel like I was flung from Havana back to Los Angeles in a slingshot; within minutes of stepping off the plane two days ago I was dealing with all the details surrounding this weekend's moving marathon.  I am in the midst of packing up our Venice house, which gets moved on Saturday, then we head up to Solvang to finish packing that up.  The movers show up there on Monday, and will be unloading at our new house Tuesday.  Time and stillness are precious right now, and I am happy to be awake so I can begin to share some stories from the most beautiful and fascinating trip I have ever experienced.

I honestly do not know where to begin.  I have spoken to a few people about the trip and it has always taken me a minute or so to start.  Havana, Cuba is a place of contradictions.  Beauty + decay.  Sadness + warmth.  Creativity + anger.  Control + rebellion.  Every single frame that your mind takes in is full of so much information - so much to see, process, ponder and examine.  At times it felt impossible to take it all in.  I took more than 1000 pictures and I could have taken ten times as many.  Everywhere I looked I found intriguing compositions, textures, colors and images.  Whatever my eyes found to set themselves on had some kind of remarkable story.

This tiny island 90 miles from Key West has been through so much.  I have barely begun to understand the details of the history of Cuba, but what little I learned on this trip is astounding.  I have been quite blessed to have traveled to many places around the world, but never have I felt a country's history - and the effects of that history on its people - so acutely.  I am not sure what it is about Havana, but there is something unique that managed to seep into my skin and is not about to let go; with every step I took throughout the city roots began to take hold.  By the time I left I knew this was a place I must return to again and again.

"Everything I thought I was is crumbling and I have yet to discover what is going to emerge..." -Journal entry March 26, 2006, my first full day in Havana, Cuba.