AS A WAY OF LIFE

nomads, writer, speaker, photographer

LAO

We entered Laos and we had the feeling to be rocked by the quiet atmosphere.

Everything was calm as if there was a lullaby in the air. A slowness rhythms each movement, as if it followed the tempo of nature during its resting time, as if each gesture was gently moved in order not to affect the order of things, as if, there, we could hear the rice growing. The reflection of the sun on the Mekong, while the fishermen throw peacefully their net, is an illustration of this serenity. It is tender, smoothing, and call for a pace that knows how to flow with the current, how to live in simplicity with what is available at the moment.

However, at the same time, we could feel this soft slowness as a limitation, as if it was vital not to disturb the tranquil waters, not to swirl them, as if everything happened below the surface. We dived from an enchanted choreography, to the viscous depth. The downside of imperial smile of the Lao people is a protective mask. From this pacifying quiet, the atmosphere felt heavy because it carried the weight of appearance. A feeling of no life, non existence vibrated, as if its people learnt not to live too intensely, to be invisible, transparent from the outside, maybe in order to exist throughout history. Still a dissonant tonality exhaled.

However, as we entered the mountainous land of Northern Laos, the butterflies followed us on the road, in a world that enchanted us. A place, where the green mounts appeared across the scenery, beyond the horizon, a place where the water points became meeting places, a place where the lightenings burst with power, a place where the mist followed the rivers, a place where the shape of karstic mountains revealed splendid landscapes. There, the air had the scent of altitude, of flowers, of nature. The roads navigated within the scenery in thousands curves, they were built on the land, following each line, each ridge, each slope. The dense forests could be seen on the horizon, but the slash and burn method of cultivation took the first place on the stage, at time sadly. Yet, the beauty of the panoramas brought us a breathe of freedom, feeling as light as a feather.