The View From the 25th Floor

It has been just about a week since I returned from Hong Kong. Already my time there feels incredibly long ago, as if I am looking back at my memories across a vast open ocean. It is scary how quickly I have returned to my old routines, hanging out with my friends and walking the grounds of Tufts as if I never left. But there can be no denying that for almost 5 months, I lived a completely different life in Hong Kong. There is no way I can coherently or succinctly summarize what my time in HK has meant to me or the impact it has had on my life. Reading some of my previous posts (and future posts, I’m trying to play catch-up) might give you some kind of idea. But it truly is an experience that goes beyond words.

With Hong Kong already feeling so distant, I am glad I have my photographs to return to. No matter how much my memory might fade, my images will stick around. And as I look back through my photographs, one scene reappears again and again: the view out of my window on the 25th floor. I had never lived so high in the clouds, and I may never again. In the morning I would look down on the basketball courts and watch little figures practicing their tai chi. In the afternoon eagles glided in lazy circles past my window. And at night I listened to the chorus of invisible frogs that croaked from the dark shadow of Mount Davis. And despite the fact that I had access to that view every day, I continued to take pictures out my window, a testament to the beauty of the view. From the first morning I awoke in my dorm room to watch the morning sun light up Mount Davis and the distant harbor, to my last night when I looked out at the familiar glowing squares of light from the nearby apartments, the view out my window never failed to make me smile.

Over the years I have learned that if I continue to photograph something over and over, it must be something worth investigating. My teachers have always told me to keep shooting until the magic is gone and I am no longer interested in what is in front of my lens. That never happend with my view of Hong Kong from my dorm window, and I doubt it ever would.


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