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  • Writer's pictureLex Enrico Santí, LCSW, MFA

No mud, no lotus

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

This photo has always had a special place for me. I had the opportunity to go to Cambodia and do work with agencies that work to end human trafficking. I was a photographer on the trip, two weeks meeting men and women who had endured horrible pain and suffering in this world. I remember taking this shot after my partner at the time, who would later break up with me, had finished her set. We walked into the sun of the facility and there sat a lotus in the midst of this courtyard.

Since this shot in 2011 I have endured. Learned about pain. Switched jobs. Lost a child. Found peace with myself and fallen in love again.

As we suffer, we try to find meaning to it all. It is not easy. There is so little capacity in many of us to just pause and try to go slow. The lotus flower is birthed from mud, this quote in the title is the wisdom of Trich Nhat Hanh. He is Buddhist monk who had helped millions be more compassionate and take their time in life.

Without stillness and moments of great compassion we cannot notice what is around us. That moment in my life fed a transformation and I am still growing.

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