Her journey has started in loving home,

In an old little town with a broken back bone:

Conquered, set free, again oppressed-

Who in the end will this land possess?

Back to the loving home of hers:

Learning to see the beauty she was

With visual aid not hard to find

Like all those historic cathedrals around.

Silently path was chosen for her

To walk in the footsteps of those from before.

She didn't mind, that's all she could see –

to study and work, then start family.

Vaccinated, gently indoctrinated

But no one noticed she had mutated.

Strong restless genes took over her mind -

Traditions and customs lost power to bind.

Finally! Ready and paid all her dues

She would no longer keep her soul on mute

With just one-way ticket and no clear plans

But with peace in her heart and excitement immense.

...Years, now decades she's been on the road

Serving, exploring – no longer “abroad”.

She learned firsthand – it's all one big home.

And that is her answer to 'where are you from?'

A nomad who maybe will never stop

Absorbing what's real, repelling what's not.

She lives oh so light – very little she needs.

Still, one thing you'll notice whenever you meet:

She carries with her those streets in old town,

Cathedrals and parks, big sandy playgrounds.

No matter the years or miles apart

She keeps all those memories deep in her heart.

You'll notice – her eyes still reflect

Those places and feelings, there's no disconnect.

The good times and bad – it's all dear to her

Accepted, embraced – becoming her core.

> I treasure my not so accidental encounters with other artists. They often lead to lasting friendships and mutual inspiration. I prefer to express myself by means of clay and paint. When I create sculptures or paintings, it's the viewer who comes up with a narrative.

The tables have turned and my friend's art inspired me to tell a story using words. As we go through life we accumulate experiences and memories of people and places which even years later are reflected in who we have become.

What do you reflect?

Elena Homitch

> As a child, I was drawn to people with cameras, and my dad's friend introduced me to the magic of this art. I was fascinated by the process technology, the equipment and couldn't wait to do it myself. I got my first camera from my parents and from that time on I have been exploring all aspects of life through the camera's lens. Photographs reveal human desires, feelings and capture passing of time. In my art I strive to bring out the essence, that which is not seen on the surface.

Each photograph has something from me – my feelings, perceptions, and energy. Photography is my way of reminding others to live a full life and to cherish every moment.

Natalia Salama