Here are three recent photographs taken in Cork.
When I was little my mother would stand on our doorstep and watch me walk down the hill on my way to school. My schoolbag was made of old, brown leather and had straps that allowed me to carry it on my shoulders. Even though I knew she would watch until I turned the corner, I still would turn around to check. I had to turn because the schoolbag was too big for me to glance over my shoulder. Reaching the corner, I would wave to her and she to me. Then she would go back in home to do her housework and I would unstrap my schoolbag, walk over to the walled garden of the corner shop and drop the bag in. Then I would climb in after it.
– Is that you, boy?
– Ya. I’m here.
– What kept you?
– Nothing. Sure, I’m here now aren’t I?
In the darkened shade of the evergreen trees, we would wait.
For many reasons, I love the photograph I have chosen as one of my personal favourite iPhone photographs for today. The funny thing is I do not recall taking the photograph. I know it is in Tokyo, most probably in the sprawling underground that lies beneath the city. When I was there I spent so much time just people watching. In a city of over 30 million there can be few better places on the planet for this. I would find myself carried along in the swell and rush of people. Many times, while I was there I got lost. The labyrinth-like underground with its numerous exits require alertness. But Tokyo underground is a great place to get lost. Without doubt Tokyo is the safest city I have ever been in. The people are courteous and kind. One time, getting the subway back to Shibuya, I got off and missed my exit for my hotel and before I knew I had walked quite a distance in the wrong direction. Needing to find my way back I stopped a young guy to ask for help. He had limited English, but abundant goodwill. Despite having been going in the opposite direction, this young man walked with me all the way back to the famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing, a landmark which I used to locate my hotel. This walk took about ten minutes. Having thanked him, I watched as he walked back in the direction we had come from. I was so struck by his kindness.
So, today’s image comes from Tokyo. If you ever get the chance to go there, grab that chance.