Light: Sydney, Australia

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Archibald Fountain in Sydney, Australia

Saleem Vaillancourt ©

They told me that the light in Australia is different somehow, sharper. I said, tosh. And then I went to Sydney last year. It was a bit like not believing in heaven and then dying, finding yourself at the pearly gates. This photo is for my uncle Farhang Ala’i, previously made of flesh and blood, but on 2nd June 2010 he became only light.

“O SON OF THE SUPREME! I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendour. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?”


  1. Alisa

    6 June, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Comments! I haven’t checked comments before now!

    That quote is one of my favorites. Feeling death as the ‘messenger of joy’ probably the most difficult human endeavor. Not just bodily death, but the ‘death’ that comes whenever something we’re attached to is taken. The Light of life seems to constantly change and transform things, one form to another. You can’t hold on to anything, just as you can’t touch a rainbow. You can only ever experience it, but for a fleeting moment.

    I wonder who is that in the statue?

    Many blessings to your uncle’s soul.

  2. Alisa

    6 June, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Oh FALSE! I can’t delete that, so must admit I did use the comments feature a few months back, but I had forgotten all about it until now. Sorry if that detracts from the more meaningul one I wrote above.

  3. Ata

    6 June, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Lots of love Saleem,