On days like this, when I’m exhausted and tired of what I’m doing, it always helps to take a deep breath down to the navel and step back, and realize how special it is that I am integrating so many things that matter to my life in what I do… and notice all the little miracles around me.

I live in one of my favorite places in the world… there’s so many events that make me laugh in a single day…I collaborate with intelligent people with commendable artistry and technical skills…I play with vintage, avant garde, and indigenous styles…everyday food is decadent and healthy… there’s a decent dose of sorrow and compassion for good measure…and I befriend contemporary Mayans, take part in their ceremonies, learn from them…and I truly believe that beyond my photos and technical production, all the sales I close are contributing to an important cause. But when there just seems to be too much going on in my life, I also go back to nature. It gives me a fresh and tingly feeling of newness.

Ambar Walking In Woods

Sacred Site Gorgeous Tree


Today’s post is inspired by yesterday’s walk in the woods in Chamula. In the Chiapas highlands we are at about 2200 meters, and the cool afternoon rain creates a very special environment. The crisp air is a natural humectant; my skin has become supple and healthy.

The forest is filled with a foundation of damp leaves…and there’s leafy stalks of maidenhairs, fern fronds, succulent mosses, and garlands of bromeliads that contrast with the earthy brown tree trunks. Mayan territory in Chiapas, Mexico. I unwittingly wore my gold ballerina flats and my Burberry bag, and even though they got stained with mango nectar and mud, they allowed me to imagine different combinations, which is one of my favorite things to do.

And I started to wonder how a Helsinki designer would reinterpret the Mexican highlands forest. Could a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie house fit here between the rocks? Or what would a Japanese anime version of the splendorous mountain view be like, or how would a Korean soap opera film a story here? Maybe a woven Portuguese curtain with specimens of birds from this place.

Stepping on the mud trail in the entropy of this forest, Ambar found a sacred altar. A hollow rock adorned with pine leaves, symbols, a wooden cross and some Catholic baubles. Here, Amber explained, is a spiritual portal to the netherworlds. It had energy to it, these rocks had souls, as part of the Mayan cosmology. Later, Chebo and I began collecting fresh ferns and mosses for our home collection in the bathroom.

To be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars; to be satisfied with your possessions, but not content with yourself until you have made the best of them; to despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing except cowardice; to be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgust; to covert nothing that is your neighbor’s except his kindness and gentleness of manners; to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends, and every day of your spiritual connection; and to spend as much time as you can, with body and with spirit, in God’s out-of-doors. These are little guidepost on the path to peace. – Henry Van Dyke

Spanish Words of the Day: ‘helecho‘ fern | ‘encanto‘ charm | ‘barro‘ mud, clay | ‘musgo‘ moss