A concussion led me to find inspiration in Yinchuan, China.
While photographing the dinning room at hand-crafted YuanShi winery in China's Ningxia Region, I fell. Somehow I tripped descending the stairs into the space. I skidded down. My head slammed against the stone wall.
Dazed, I stood up slowly. When I looked in a bathroom mirror to see my forehead bleeding, I knew not all was right. My whole body was afraid, sensing something was wrong. That night I knew I had a concussion.
|The stone stairs where I fell are at the back of this YuanShi winery dinning room. Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China. China wine.|
While working alone in my darkened hotel room, something pulled me out to visit the city building two blocks away. Inside, to my surprise, I found a museum. There displays of petrogylphs from the nearby Helan Shan—Helan Mountain—pulled me in to the darkened museum rooms.
I studied every etching. Inspired. Five hours passed as if a moment in the dark museum caves. These 12,000-year-old rock art works gave me new ideas for the African First Stories (Myth) Project I've been working on for the past 15 years.
|The Sun God Engraving made on the Helan Mountain as displayed in the Yinchuan museum.|
My lesson: an adventure begins through an open door (or a concussion). Unless you leave room for serendipity, how can the divine enter in?
|The building housing the display of Helan Mountain rock art.|
|What do you think is the subject of this rock art made at Helan Mountain? This display in Yinchuan, Ningxia Region, China.|