Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Icons Challenge, The Locard Principle 2: The Middle East and Me

The best thing, the very best thing about blogging, for me, is what I learn from my commenters. The old Locard’s Exchange Principle is a constant in life – with every interaction, a part of you rubs off on me, and a part of me rubs off on you. It’s why we’re careful about the people, books, movies, blogs and ideas we spend time with. . . we either feel better for hanging around them, or slightly uncomfortable. Sometimes, hugely uncomfortable. The internet is a microcosm, good and evil all mixed in together and we make our choices.

Fragonard:  The Reader

Fragonard: The Reader

Above: that is me. That’s pretty much who I am. I am quiet, I am a reader. I still get input, from newspapers, books, e-mails, the internet, friends, groups, etc.

What I love about blogging is that I throw something out, and you throw something back. Many many times, what I get back is unexpected, and forces me to re-examine my assumptions. Many times, I have to force myself to stop. Not to respond. I have to force myself to let the new information, new point-of-view sink in, percolate, settle. Minds don’t change in an instant, but . . . they do change. New information brings new, often surprising, perspectives. When I find myself getting angry, I have to step back and ask myself “what is going on here? What are you reacting to?” It helps me to know myself better, and it helps me to understand whatever-little-corner-of-the-world-I-am-living-in better, too.

There are about six different blog entries radiating out like a spider’s web from the thoughts I am now thinking, fed by your input and comments, and behind the scenes e-mails back and forth with new thoughts.

So here is my challenge for today. I’ve shown you one of my life icons, this Fragonard paining, The Reader.

Your mission, your challenge – identify / find a piece of art that shows us who you are. Post it on your blog and link here with a comment, or send it to me, and I will publish it.

(No graphic violence or pornography; I won’t publish it and I will break the link if you publish it on your blog and link to me.)

March 18, 2009 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Blogging, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Locard Exchange Principal, Random Musings, Relationships, Spiritual


  1. What a nice idea. Since I have stayed for a couple of years in the Middle East, I have changed much of my life. I became what Hermann Hesse had called ‘Die Morgenlandfahrer’. Essentially an author for the older adolescent’s demands, I have read quite recently his Siddharta again and was a bit disappointed and surprised how I once could have adored that little piece of poetry. It is not real, I suppose. There is much more to learn in the original cultures, even spiritually. Directly from the people living in the Middle East and, of course Asia at large. Never forget, the cradle of all civilization lies in the East! Ex Oriente Lux!

    My picture: Well, homesickness sometimes urges me to come back. My last Morgenlandfahrt (to Iran, as a professional and a tourist, as well) was not meant to heal me from longings I feel in the Arctic where I am living right now. It was both revealing and even miraculous in the encounters of a stranger with, well, curious and most cordial strangers.

    Not to forget: Nowruz Mobarak for all my Iranian friends. Spring equinox is after tomorrow!

    Comment by Fahad | March 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. This is an assignment I would give my students. “If you were a picture on a wall, what would you be and when your friends walked by they would definately know it is you”.

    I love this one and as soon as I find a picture of “my picture” I will forward it.

    Rock on Intlxpatr!
    (PS I’m over 50 now so I can say that with confidence!)

    Comment by NWBrown | March 18, 2009 | Reply

  3. Nice blog, Fahad (although I am already hooked on Salmiya; why the two? How do they serve different purposes?) but I am looking for a work of art that tells us who you are; what sings to your heart. Or did I miss the big picture, that all things Iranian sing to your heart?

    Nadine, LOL, OK, I’ll rock on and you send a work of art! 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 18, 2009 | Reply

  4. Why two? Because of you, of course! It started as a picture blog featuring my hundreds if not thousands of pictures from the Middle East (they are running out, by the way) but became more and more political whenever planning new trips to Iran, for instance. It is a common phenomenon that you solidarize with the people you perceive as threatened, especially when you have friends there and remember only nice experiences (of course I am aware of one of the abjectest dictatorships in the world). I noticed that you were questioning the validity of some of my very critical postings and thus decided to start something else.

    Thanks for the compliment.

    Comment by Fahad | March 18, 2009 | Reply

  5. Umm. . . I was? Questioning the validity . . oh dear. I’m sorry, Fahad. I don’t remember doing that . . . I probably need to keep track of my comments and go back and follow up. Aargh. Blush.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 18, 2009 | Reply

  6. Wonderful idea, and awesome post. I’ve never heard of the Locard Exchange Principle but yes, absolutely agree, have the same view that I apply to people.

    PS Love the picture. That could be me too, always have my nose in a book.

    Comment by harmonie22 | March 19, 2009 | Reply

  7. Harmonie22 – 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 19, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: