When voiceless human expression mingle

By Nicole Meadows

Three little boys sat on a wooden cart, their shirts made of toasted sun. I nudged my camera towards them, asking wordlessly if I could take their photo. They began a peaceful wrestle, crawling over one another to be in the forefront, the littlest one kneaded like rising dough.

Their mother, mama so proud, laughed and stretched their arms, rearranging them into a family display. I took their tiered portrait and stepped back, nodded thanks and received thankful smiles from them.

English and Khmer did not mingle in the warm muddy streets, but voiceless human expression did.

There were many children in the village, all friendly – they would trail us as we learned about the clean water project, smiling, waving, asking our names.

Some of them lit up at the eye of a camera, Narcissus of the southeast; some of them morphed into doorframes, to emerge later as an over-the-shoulder curiosity.

One boy posed for a picture then communicated for me to show him his digital image. I showed him – he giggled, put his hands to his face and then ran off with sudden bashfulness.

Although it lacks a verbal voice, if a picture says a thousand words, a camera tells an eternal story.

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2 comments so far

  1. Mark E. Johnson on

    So, um, where is the photo …?

  2. Nicole on

    Oh, right. Some are here – http://buildmenow.tumblr.com/ – but the upload is slow work and I am investigating Flickr for “gallery space.”


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