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A kind word is worth a thousand pictures, for Nina

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Nina London, right, presents Valerie Leader Furbert with a Bermuda Calender (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Nina London presents Valerie Leader Furbert with a Bermuda Calender (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
One of Nina London’s photographs (Photograph supplied)
One of Nina London’s photographs (Photograph supplied)
One of Nina London’s photographs (Photograph supplied)

What is it to take a picture? Often, it is an attempt to capture a memory, an important moment, or perhaps, just something fun. More often these days it is to freeze in time a vision of ourselves, as we like to see us, and to share that image with others.

As artists, photographers are pursuing beauty, or truth or honesty or drama or the power of a life changing instant. They strive to capture a feeling of awe or wonder or insight or truth, or perhaps just to witness something extraordinary.

I love taking pictures of our sacred, endless ocean, with its many moods and faces; its clear turquoise waves, restless and unceasing; the glimmering slash of the setting sun on its mirrored surface; the pastel nuances of towering clouds reflected in gentle and sighing swells. And, I love the ocean’s thrashing power when locked in merciless combat with the grey and thunderous walls of a hurricane.

I found the group 441 Photo Bermuda on Facebook where every member can post pictures of Bermuda. The group is large and surprisingly international with more than 13,000 contributors.

One of the aspects I like the best is that comments are very supportive. It is wonderful to have a safe space without harsh and unkind words from “critics.” It is a positive and inspiring online gallery, accessible to all.

Only artists, amateur or professional, can know how important it is to have someone support and appreciate them. Artists are sensitive and often insecure about their creations. What do artists need more than anything? Encouragement! Artists need encouragement!

Encouragement can propel a self doubting artist to great heights of achievement. I always encourage artists because I never forget they are walking a high road, and I admire them the way I admire pilgrims pursuing their faith.

At one point, I noticed there was one woman who was always leaving very touching, poetic and encouraging comments about my photographs. These comments were not simple like “great” or “stunning”. Each comment was meaningful, special and very moving.

I saw that in our busy world she spent time not just glancing at the picture but looking closely and noticing details. I felt that she wrote straight from her kind heart, and, she was commenting not only on my photos but on many other photographers as well:

"So very colourful, the majestic blue of our most fantastic ocean that surrounds us each and every day! God Bless you for doing what you do and fulfilling your purpose in life!”

Seeing this photo … one cannot help but feel the tranquillity …

It is dark to the left of the photo, but brighter to the right! So as far as I am concerned, one can look forward to a brighter day!

Nina, for some reason, I see an angel looking down on the waves as they roll towards the beach.....in approval of course!”

These comments were from Valerie Leader-Furbert, an administrative assistant at the Bermuda Police Service. I asked her where she got this wonderful quality of supporting people.

She answered with a bright smile on her face:

“My parents Ernest and Edna taught me and my siblings to treat people how we find them and always support them, and be the best that we can be, in all aspects of our lives. I learnt from them to look for and bring out the positives in negative situations. What my Mom and Dad instilled in us, I have tried my utmost to utilise, and to live the life that they would have wanted me to. My intent is to pass these same things on, particularly to my nieces, nephews … my entire family, as best I can.”

Before the New Year she asked me if I was going to print a calendar with my pictures. She said that she would like one. Suddenly, I was motivated and inspired. I printed four of them: for my mom, my daughter, my family and Valerie.

I still remember her laughter and dazzling smile when I gave her the calendar.

“You did it!” she exclaimed.

“I did it because of you, and I am very grateful!” I answered.

Dear readers, look around you. There are so many people who could blossom just because you share with them your kindheartedness. If you give them a hand, they will shine like stars!

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Published August 12, 2021 at 8:04 am (Updated August 12, 2021 at 8:04 am)

A kind word is worth a thousand pictures, for Nina

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