Cordillera Blanca-Peru - Ryan Kost
Cullicocha Reflections.

Cullicocha Reflections.

eflections...The more time I travel, the less I realize I need. Community, connection, culture, presence...oh and my mountain bike and cameras :). I can't comprehend why so many of us in the west or 'modern' world exhaust our resources at an alarming rate and often suffer from insatiable appetites to collect and consume. The traditional American Dream, in my humble opinion is a cancer to our planet. We cannot keep on like this. We would need 6 more earth's to adequately provide if everyone was to live like we do in the states. We have so much to learn from those who live one with the land and each other. Honestly, I get a bit frustrated with our overall lifestyle in the ‘west.’ We are selfish and complain too much. We frequently brag about all that we have individually accomplished and don’t celebrate solidarity and the power and success that stems from it. In the Andes, Ayllu (community) and Ayni (reciprocity) are fundamental to existence. There is no me, me me...the power resides in we. Duality and a harmonious balance between masculine and feminine energy is necessary for survival and prosperity. You look after the person next to you first. You acknowledge that we need nature more than it needs us. It's simple really. When we go to the grave, it's our experiences and connections with ourselves, each other and the earth that will be our indelible footprint and legacy that carries on.
Photography has been a wonderful tool for me to contemplate these things. My camera is my heart. It beats with my soul and is set afire in these quiet moments in the mountains to have this sort of introspection. Sunset over Santa Cruz and Laguna Cullicocha in the Cordillera Blanca. Cheers to you Andes for always opening up your beautiful soul to me and making me feel right at home and infinitely teaching me about life.