Celebrating Love on Michael Jackson’s Birthday

Celebrating Love on Michael Jackson’s Birthday

Michael Jackson would have been fifty-seven years old today. The now familiar black wrought iron gates signal the entrance to Forest Lawn Glendale. As I wind up the entrance I see Aleppo pines, a single rose here and there, flower arrangements, pinwheels of red, orange and blue spinning softly in the wind as the birds sing their songs.

@ hannah kozak

Holly Terrace

Amidst the roses, handmade cards, balloons, and stuffed animals is the feeling of love that Michael Jackson spread around the world with his music and his heart.

© hannah kozak

With love from Russia

Eleanor Roosevelt said “to do what you feel in your heart for you’ll be criticized anyway.” Michael embodied this throughout his life. Watching television as a young boy with his mother, he was moved to tears when he saw images of starving children in Africa. “Mother”, he vowed, “I’m going to do something about this someday.” And, true to his word, he did.

My hope is these photos show how Michael was loved and even though he was subjected to immense injustice, the fans know the truth even though the media was trying to tarnish his reputation throughout his career.

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

Marjorie from Scotland

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

Alice in Hong Kong

I love the simplicity of this tiny bear with the note “Happy birthday to you in heavens.”

@ hannah kozak

Little bear from Iraa and Jude

Divina Baham organized “The Messenger of Love” Foundation back in 2011. They celebrate Michael’s birthday, his passing and bring bags of love out reach visiting homeless shelters, Shriner’s Hospital for Children and dedicated a tree to Michael at Lake Balboa. This year they brought a cake to Forest Lawn in honor of Michael.

Cake for Michael Jackson - 29 August 2015

Cake for Michael Jackson – 29 August 2015

Hitomi came from Japan for only 3 days. I was told by Hitomi’s friend that many Japanese visitors stay for such a short amount of days because they have to get back to work.

© hannah kozak

Hitomi – from Japan

Rieko from Japan on the other hand, came for 3 weeks to study English at a small school for her university back home. “My main purpose is Michael Jackson’s birthday” she told me. It was her first time in LA and in her own words, “a dream come true”. I thought it was so cute how she carried her MJ doll in the tiny bag with “I am King of Pop” on it.

© hannah kozak

Rieko – from Japan

I met Gloria Lopez. She told me she was 13 years old when her grandfather died. He was her father figure and her best friend, who took care of her since she was 3 months old. After he died, she became depressed and suicidal, as it was her first experience of death. She didn’t want to go to school, was getting “F” grades and was sent to a psychiatrist. She said “I heard “You Rock My World” in 2001 and it was the first time I smiled since my grandfather died. I started devoting myself to MJ research. I became an honor student and received a Masters In Art Education doing my thesis on Michael.” She told me she teaches art to children because of Michael’s influence on her.

@ hannah kozak

Gloria Lopez

I met Marguerite, who flew all the way from France. Her first time to the states was in 2012 for the Immortal World Tour. She saw the Immortal World Tour 2 times in France that same year. She returned to Forest Lawn in August, 2014 and saw the One show two times that year. This year she told me that she came to Los Angeles for Michael’s spiritual message.

© hannah kozak

Marguerite – France

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

I love you More – Maleah

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Nina from Poland

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Yumiko from Japan

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Yumiko from Japan

© hannah kozak

Roswitha Preib – Germany

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Clotide – France

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

Rieko – L and Kaori – R
from Japan

Michael’s commitment to his art, no matter what was happening in his life, is a testament to the artist he was; always bearing his soul in his music. His ability to connect with his fans all around the globe is evident even six years after he left his physical body. Even in the fierce California heat, people come from France, from Japan, from all around the world, to pay their respects to the Man in the Mirror, who built an army of love.

© hannah kozak

Roses from France

© hannah kozak

Flowers from Russia

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I love this card!

© hannah kozak

Art work by Haruyo Sakuta

© hannah kozak

Backside of Michael on Eagle’s Back

 © hannah kozak

Yae Kojima – Japan

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Yuka – Japan

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Yuka Takahashi – Japan

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

Maleah, Lorrie, Marilyn

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Hong Kong

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

May Cheng – Hong Kong

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

Captain Eo card – Japan

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2 Michael Bad dolls meet at Forest Lawn

 © hannah kozak

More gifts for Michael

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

Russian fans

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

From Japan

© hannah kozak

Japanese dolls

One of Michael’s greatest gifts was how he cared for humanity and spread love. His Army of Love is still going strong, carrying the message that Michael was sharing with us his entire life: Love one another, take care of each other and continue to give, share and breathe love every step of our journey here. Michael was a spiritual messenger who walked his walk. In the end, Michael’s message continues to light the way.

Celebrating Love on Michael Jackson’s Birthday


Sylvia Plachy’s photography memoir: Self Portrait with Cows Going Home

Sylvia Plachy’s photography memoir: Self Portrait with Cows Going Home

@ Sylvia Plachy

Sylvia Plachy – Nightmare

Part of my desire to visit Budapest was to see where a photographer who is particularly dear to my heart was born. Sylvia Plachy lived in Hungary with her family until they were forced to leave because of the revolution in Europe when she was thirteen years old. Her story resonated with me because of her Eastern European childhood, which reminded me of my father’s childhood, growing up in Poland. She crossed the border with her parents from Hungary to Austria with a small suitcase and teddy bear in 1956. And, I loved imagining her arrival to the United States in 1958 – after two years as refugees in Vienna, carrying only her teddy bear and a larger suitcase.

I found a copy of Sylvia Plachy’s: Self-Portrait with Cows Going Home, during one of my late night Internet searches on photographers. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put the memoir down. I stayed up all night reading it, and was reminded of my own youth – staying up late to read stories about relatable people in faraway lands from my rollaway bed. I was drawn to it with intensity: the depth, humor and sadness. I stayed up nights for weeks, reading her memoir and studying her photographs. Her black and white images stirred my emotions making me both laugh and cry. I’m always drawn to old school photographers who come from a film background like Melvin Sokolsky, Diane Arbus and Douglas Kirkland. Sylvia’s photography deeply resonates with me – taking me on a journey of quiet, space, solitude and companionship.

Sylvia Plachy - Self Portrait with Cows Coming Home

Sylvia Plachy – Self Portrait with Cows Coming Home

The first photo in Self Portrait with Cows is one that her father made of her when she was 13 years old in Vienna. She’s in the snow and there is a building and a tree in the background. It’s a simple photo that begs so many questions. To me, a photo that asks questions, but doesn’t always give the answers is beautiful. This photo does exactly that.

Sylvia Plachy in Vienna

Sylvia Plachy in Vienna

In her memoir, Sylvia reflects on pre and post Communism and I adore how she captures the somber mood of that period with not only her writing but also with her photography of landscapes and people. Eight years after leaving Hungary, she returned with her camera to continue her passion for her homeland and its’ people.

The first two page spread in her book is called Translvanian woods, 2001. I felt the silence of solitude. I wondered about the fog that seemed to create a translucent space all around.

Part of the reason I feel connected to Sylvia Plachy is because, in some ways, she reminds me of my father. He had to start all over again as an immigrant in America, after losing his entire family in Poland to the Holocaust. He survived 8 Nazi forced labor camps and he was the only survivor of his 8 siblings, parents and grandparents. I am drawn to her art because she followed her heart and dream of being a photographer and showcases such humanity in her photography.

I made my way in the pouring rain to Mai Mano House at Nagymezo utca 20 on the Pest side. I was tired and I still haven’t found a cure for jet lag but I didn’t want to wait another moment to see her art. The building has wooden hand rails and stained glass. What a perfect treat for me to see a Sylvia Plachy exhibition for my first time. It is an exceptional building. I was impressed with how the show was organized with the pamphlet so one can walk around, self-guided and particularly, I could gather all the details I craved: the names and the years she made the pictures. It was well thought out and I love the title: When Will It Be Tomorrow? This was a question she used to ask when she was a child.

© hannah kozak

Mai Manó Ház
Budapest, Hungary

Here are some of my favorite photos from her show:

@ Sylvia Plachy

Groundhog, 1986
Silver gelatin print
37.5 x 37.5

@ Sylvia Plachy

Sylvia Plachy,
Lake Washington, Mississippi, 2009
Archival pigment print
26.5 x 72 cm

© hannah kozak

Sylvia Plachy
My Mother at My Father’s Grave, 1980
I find this one quieting, eerie, reflective, realistic and haunting.

@ Sylvia Plachy

Sylvia Plachy –
Flea Market Vendor’s Daughter, 1984
Silver gelatin print,
39 x 39 cm

@ Sylvia Plachy

Sylvia Plachy –
La Puta Vida, a play, Zselatinos ezust,
Silver gelatin print,
37.5 x 27.5 cm

@ Sylvia Plachy

Sylvia Plachy,
Dog on a Thin String, Moscow, 2000
Archival pigment print,
58 x 21.5 cm

I was drawn to the showcases with the photos of her son, actor Adrian Brody. My G-d, what a beautiful child he was and is. My favorite photo is a black and white image from when he is a child wearing a scarf in the snow. She captures so much emotion in the photo and he looks endearingly precious.

I also loved the black and white photograph of her son with a cigarette, and cat and the one with a puppy in his pocket! Oh my goodness it was darling and fun and made me wonder if it was a family pet.

It was a treat to watch the video showing her with her Leica M-6, her Rolleflex 2.8F, and Hasselblad. I do feel that all great pictures have ghosts in them as she says. We also agree that the type of camera you are drawn to matters because each camera does something different. Self Portrait with Cows has even more meaning to me now that I have been in Budapest.

Plachy has succeeded in finding the meaning, the essence of life, that she sees with her photography. I am grateful to have discovered her. She is a true artist.

Goethe wrote that the hardest thing is to see what is in front of our eyes. Why I love Sylvia Plachy’s art so much is she does this so beautifully. She sees what is in front of her eyes. She was born with an innate talent and was savvy enough to put it to good use. I adore Sylvia Plachy and her art.

© hannah kozak

Hannah Kozak – Self Portrait @ Mai Manó Ház –

One of my favorite Sylvia Plachy epigrams:

“Flower-language,(virág-nyelv in Hungarian), is what speaking euphemistically was called. In totalitarian countries our lack of power made poets or liars of us all.”

Sylvia Plachy’s photographs used by permission.

Sylvia Plachy’s photography memoir: Self Portrait with Cows Going Home


Michael Jackson Is Remembered and Loved Six Years Later

Michael Jackson is Remembered and Loved Six Years Later

Although it’s hard to believe it’s been six years, it’s soothing, heart breaking and life affirming all at once to see how the love for Michael Jackson is as present as it was on the day we lost him. As Michael once said, “My fans truly are a part of me. We share something that most people will never experience.” After his death, we continue to share our passion and love for Michael with each other.

 © hannah kozak

My Three Michael Jackson dolls.

Every year on the anniversary of his death I make my way to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, and walk slowly amidst a sea of love of homemade cards, stuffed animals,drawings, paintings, sunflowers, roses and handmade books from all over the globe. I see these offerings as proof. Proof there is love in every corner of the world from Japan to Korea, Italy to Germany to Poland as the fans pay their respects to the man, the man in the mirror who simply wanted to spread messages of love and tolerance, of forgiveness and kindness and of healing the world. When Michael sang, “Another Part of Me”, he was light years ahead in terms of consciousness. With his raised consciousness he acted with fearless integrity and understood the essence of this era: Recognize the other person is you.

@ hannah kozak

Forest Lawn Glendale,
25 June 2015

© hannah kozak

Flowers for Michael at Holly Terrace 25 June 2015

© hannah kozak

Bad era. Forest Lawn. 25 June 2015

I am under no illusion about how people judge Michael Jackson fans. And I am perfectly okay with that. I am part of a worldwide team that is fighting against injustice. Because I know who Michael Jackson was, not what the media tried to force feed down our throats. We are not willing to give up our fight against wrong. As Michael held up a mirror to himself, we hold up a mirror to the world, showing that spreading love, not hatred, is the answer.

© hannah kozak

Flowers from fans in Denmark. Forest Lawn.
25 June 2015

© hannah kozak

Forest Lawn,
25 June 2015

© hannah kozak

Miranda – Hong Kong
Forest Lawn,
25 June 2015

I grew up loving Michael Jackson’s music but there was so much more to him than that. It was Michael’s heart I deeply resonated with. I could feel how caring, other-centered and kind he was. And, in a sense, the worldwide grieving helped and continues to help me to feel that we are all one. That even though the loss feels as if it will never have closure, we are never, ever alone.

© hannah kozak

Poem to Michael,
Forest Lawn
25 June 2015

One Rose for Michael Jackson raised 15,537 roses this year. Seeing all the roses donated from fans around the world moves me to tears as I am enveloped in the sea of love of thousands of roses. And it keeps growing. The first year Robyn Starkand’s team raised 3,000 roses, then 4,500 then 10,000, and now more than 15,000. Every year, all the roses are donated to various charities after June 25.

© hannah kozak

One Rose for Michael Jackson.
25 June 2015

© hannah kozak

One Rose for Michael Jackson
25 June 2015

At Forest Lawn, I met Andrea Schneider and Lola Anderson from Dusseldorf and Eltville, Germany, who returned to the cemetery last year on June 26 to help donate some of the roses to charity and will be doing the same this year.

© hannah kozak

Robyn Starkand (Organizer of One Rose for Michael Jackson) with Andrea Schneider and Lola Anderson from Germany

I also met Nako and Fumiyo from Japan. I loved watching them kneel on the grass in front of Holly Terrace, as they removed all the carefully chosen items from bags they brought with them and arranged it all, which you can see here along with their homage to MJ.

© hannah kozak

Nako and Fumiyo from Japan. 24 June 2015
Forest Lawn

© hannah kozak

Nako from Osaka, Japan
Fumiyo from Tokyo, Japan
24 June 2015

I delivered roses to the Jewish Home for the Aged to continue to spread the love.

© hannah kozak

Roses at the Jewish Home for the Aged

The quilt that the fans in Japan make annually brings me to my knees. The fans meet on weekends throughout the year creating tiny, hand stitched, drawn, painted, individually created, pieces, all in the name of love, to blanket Michael with love. Here are some pieces of the quilt up close.

© hannah kozak

Maho & Yasuyo
Quilt from Japan
25 June 2015

© hannah kozak

Ayako from Japan

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I especially love the “Heal the Kids” with the flying angel child

© hannah kozak

Yurika – Japanese quilt

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Kana – Japanese quilt

© hannah kozak

Yuko Jackson- Japanese quilt

© hannah kozak

Rie – Japanese quilt

© hannah kozak

Ayuno Kuko – Japanese quilt
This piece brought me tears. She wrote “I enrolled high school in this spring. I chosen a art course. I have fun my school life. I want to become able to describe a painting like you well. So I study hard the art. Please watch me.” Look how Michael Jackson has inspired people all over the world! She is studying art and look how beautifully she paints.

© hannah kozak

Hiroko – Japanese quilt

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Yurika – Japanese quilt

© hannah kozak

Quilt from Japan

© hannah kozak

More passion from the Japanese fans’ quilt

© hannah kozak

Japanese quilt insert

© hannah kozak

Home made card from Wendy

© hannah kozak

Forest Lawn
25 June 2015

© hannah kozak

Flower arrangement from Japan

© hannah kozak

Marcus Petterman
Germany

© hannah kozak

Forest Lawn
25 June 2015

© hannah kozak

Hong Kong Fans
Forest Lawn
25 June 2015

© hannah kozak

Hong Kong

© hannah kozak

Flowers from around the globe

© hannah kozak

The flower arrangements just kept arriving

I met Wiedjai, who traveled from the Netherlands. He is a mechanical engineer who works with sustainable energy. He has traveled to California numerous times in support of Michael. He was here in 2003 and was invited into Neverland along with many other fans. He said he was offered ice cream, drinks, rode all the attractions and the train around the lush property. His description of Neverland is that “it was magic.” He returned in 2005 for the trial, 2009 for the memorial where he says he was very shaky and also returned in 2010.

© hannah kozak

Wiedjai from the Netherlands

I spoke to Nora from Budapest, Hungary. “This is my 1st time here.” she told me.

© hannah kozak

Nora Pogonyi
Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Over 50 nations are represented on this banner.

© hannah kozak

And the flowers kept arriving!

 © hannah kozak

Tata created all these drawings/paintings.
Michael Jackson fans are uber creative.

Truth4MJ is a project that’s grown through the years thanks to the contributions of loyal Michael Jackson’s supporters committed to spread the truth about him starting from his own words. As he said, “lies run sprints, the truth runs marathons”. We strongly believe the truth about his life, his human nature and that his death will be recognized worldwide in the end.

Jermaine Jackson arrived, greeting the fans with a tremendous amount of care and love with real hugs and handshakes. It took him awhile to get through as he gently took his time speaking to the fans. “Thank you for coming. It’s very tough. I feel like the moment I did when I did the announcement for his passing. You make it easy for me because it’s the love and the support.” He spoke and became emotional, unable to hold back his tears. All the love and support from the fans seems truly important to him.

© hannah kozak

Jermaine Jackson
Forest Lawn
25 June 2015

@ hannah kozak

Jermaine Jackson

© hannah kozak

Jermaine Jackson leaving Forest Lawn

In Michael’s book, Dancing the Dream, he wrote, “People ask me how I make music. I tell them I just step into it. It’s like stepping into a river and joining the flow. Every moment in the river has its song. So, I stay in the moment and listen.” Michael understood that everything in our universe has its own vibratory frequency, and when we raise our own vibration, that brings us closer to experiencing and merging with the highest vibration of all – G-d – the original creativity of the universe. As I continue to walk around the sea of love, I can feel the vibration of what Michael Jackson was telling us for decades: Love and be kind to each other. And that, in part, is why he will not be dethroned.

The simplicity of this note is lovely.

© hannah kozak

Note to MJ

And, I LOVE this drawing of MJ that’s a combination of Michael and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince.

© hannah kozak

Michael Jackson as The Little Prince

© hannah kozak

Bad doll from Japanese fans meets the Thriller era dolls

© hannah kozak

Self Portrait – Hannah Kozak

© hannah kozak

One Rose for Michael Jackson,
25 June 2015

Michael Jackson is Remembered and Loved Six Years Later


My Mother’s Dolls

My Mother’s Dolls

Forgiveness and Compassion

My mother’s birthday is around the corner, and I am ironing nametags onto the various stuffed animals I have chosen for her. I run the hot silver plate over the back of a stuffed grey and black kitty, sealing my mother’s name onto his back, making it hers. My mother loves her stuffed animals. They are her companions, keeping her company and bringing her comfort during the day and late at night.

My mother is in a wheelchair, brain damaged from her second husband’s abuse. She cannot pick up the phone when she is feeling lonely to hear a familiar voice. Or take a walk in the neighborhood, listening to birds singing. Reading a book isn’t an option. She can’t reach out for a dog or cat to pet. Yet she manages to smile at the littlest things, like her dolls. Small reassuring beings, friends in quiet moments.

I have been a participant observer, documenting my mother’s nearly adult lifetime confinement to a nursing home after a brutal beating by her second husband.

http://hannahkozak.com/he-threw-the-last-punch-too-har/

My mother is the longest living resident in her home for the aged. When she entered the home, we had run out of options. I understood her anger. I’d be pissed, too, if I ended up crippled, but the women taking care of her couldn’t handle her explosions from frustration. My mother was a passionate brunette from Guatemala who used to dance the Flamenco. My uncle told me men would throw their wallets at her. Today she is incapacitated to the point where she cannot walk, feed or clothe herself.

This is Part One of the series, My Mother’s Dolls.

These photos are a continuation of that series; He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard, which began in December 2009. I am focusing here on the comfort objects that allow my mother to get through the day, nurturing and loving dolls that stand in for the life she lost.

My mother's new dolls for Mother's Day 2014

My mother’s new dolls for Mother’s Day 2014

My mother in Guatemala.

My mother in Guatemala.

@ hannah kozak

Olivia, her favorite

@ hannah kozak

The Snowman

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

Another favorite – doll I brought her from Antigua, Guatemala.

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

My mother and MJ Thriller doll

@ hannah kozak

@ hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

As a bittersweet sidenote, I was awarded the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, 6th Edition, 1st Prize – single Documentary photo from my series on my mother, He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard.

That project also made it to the finalists for the CDS/Honickman, Duke University 1st Book Prize in Photography 2014.

http://firstbookprizephoto.com/hannah-kozak-2014-finalist/

My Mother’s Dolls


Magical Budapest

Magical Budapest

Budapest has been on my sights for a long time. Despite modern development, Budapest retains magic and old charm around every corner. Buda and Pest were separate towns on opposite banks of the Danube River until 1873, when they were merged. They developed independently and the result is two unique regions; both exquisite.

@ hannah kozak

Danube River – Budapest, Hungary

I stayed on the Buda side of the Danube River, on a recommendation by a friend from Budapest. The area was calm, peaceful and filled with the beauty of green and trees all around me. I traveled daily to catch either the tram, trolley and metro depending on where I wanted to explore. A ten minute stroll and I was in the Castle District and there, I spent the day walking the streets, feeling as if I have traveled back in time to a quiet, peaceful world where I see Baroque residential homes next to ancient Roman stones.

@ hannah kozak

Trams on Buda side

@ hannah kozak

Cat on Buda side

@ hannah kozak

Man on street with cigarette

Here is Mathais Church, which is over 700 years old. The colorful character of the church is the manifestation of the cultural interchange on the borderline between East and West. It’s a unique interior created at the end of the 19th century by Bertalan Székely – the leading painter of the age and Frigyes Schuliek – architect.

© Hannah Kozak

Mathias Church in Budapest, Hungary

The Jewish Quarter, where I went back twice to spend time at the Great Synagogue, the largest Jewish house of worship in Europe. It was built in 1859 and has both Moorish and romantic elements.

© hannah kozak

The Great Synagogue Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

The Great Synagogue
Budapest, Hungary


© hannah kozak

The Great Synagogue
Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Star of David @ The Great Synagogue

© hannah kozak

Star of David – The Great Synagogue

I spent time at the Holocaust Memorial’s metal “tree of life”, designed by Imre Varga in 1991. If you look closely, you can see family names of some of the hundreds of thousands of victims.

© hannah kozak

The Tree of Life
Budapest, Hungary

Made my way into a building inside the Great Synagogue and asked to see this antique book:

© hannah kozak

Register of Jewish Survivors in Budapest

Wandering the streets on the Pest side.

© hannah kozak

Budapest

© hannah kozak

@hannah kozak- Budapest, Hungary

 © hannah kozak

Budapest street

© hannah kozak

Budapest Street Art 2

In Belváros, the inner city of the historical old town of Pest is Rumbach Street Synagogue, located in the eastern section of Budapest.

The synagogue in Rumbach Street was built in 1872 to the design of the Viennese architect Otto Wagner. It served the Status Quo Ante community. It was built not as an exact replica of, but as an homage to the style of the octagonal, domed Dome of the Rock Muslim shrine in Jerusalem.

© hannah kozak

Rumbach Street Synagogue -Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Rumbach Street Synagogue 2 – Budapest, Hungary

@ hannah kozak

Hannah Kozak-Self Portrait Rumbach Synagogue

© hannah kozak

Rumbach Street Synagogue – Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Two men at Rumbach Street Synagogue – Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Door on Pest Side
Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak
Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Man on street – Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Boy on Street – Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Man in Coffee Shop – Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Metro Station – Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Wandering through Budapest

© hannah kozak

Girls in Deli at hotel where MJ stayed – Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Jewish Quarter – Pest Side,
Budapest, Hungary
I love the detailed tiles on this building

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

Always on the look out for wandering cubs and I lucked out when I found this dog who loved to play catch. I’ve never seen a dog leap so high!

© hannah kozak

Leaping dog in Budapest

© hannah kozak

Leaping Dog in Budapest 2

© hannah kozak

Leaping Dog 3 in Budapest, Hungary

© hannah kozak

Little Leaping Dog in Budapest

© hannah kozak

Women On Street – Budapest, Hungary

Magical Budapest


Gurmukh: The light comes from within

Gurmukh:The Light Comes from Within”

Given the spiritual name Gurmukh by Yogi Bhajan, master of Kundalini Yoga, her name means “one who helps thousands of people across the world ocean” and that she is exactly what she has done. Her name also translates to “face the guru” in Punjabi – which represents the practice of following the ways of the Guru instead of following your animal instincts and the basic desires of the mind. She understands what Yogi Bhajan used to teach us: that we have made deep promises between our soul and our self. Gurmukh is indeed carving her place into the memory of this planet earth and serve this promise. Her life’s teaching, is part of her destiny. She speaks from the voice of her soul, not the fractured, doubting personality that sabotages the intuitive mind.

From her daily sadhana, or spiritual practice, she radiates light as she is forgiving and compassionate. So many people live in the land of duality: making someone wrong so they can be right. Rather she lives in the present, in the now, not in the past. Gurmukh doesn’t have a long list of grievances rather she has friends around the globe and she travels to India at least three times a year. In 2015 she will travel to Kumarakim and Kerala, India as well as Rishikesh, India, California, Puerto Morelos, Mexico, New York, Switzerland, Berlin, Germany, UK, Koln, Moscow, Colorado, NY, Sweden, South Africa, Canada and Massachusetts; so she can spread the teachings of Kundalini Yoga.

She understands that the life force, the chi, comes from within. The more you inhale and exhale “I AM”, the more you understand the transparency of duality. Gurmukh has helped to teach students all over the world, including myself, that when you’re in doubt, stress and worry, to call on your breath, call on your soul, which is your best friend and inhale “I AM. The great strength of those born under the sign of Pisces is their compassionate and charitable nature. Gurmukh is a true Pisces: selfless, spiritual and very focused on her inner journey. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “spiritual force is greater than material force.”

She is the co-founder and director of Golden Bridge Yoga, the premiere center for the study and practice of Kundalini Yoga and meditation in Santa Monica, California and also in New York City.

http://www.goldenbridgeyoga.com

Here is a photo I made of Gurmukh at the first Golden Bridge Yoga in Los Angeles. 4 June 2004.

@ hannah kozak

Gurmukh @ Golden Bridge Yoga, June 2004

Here we are outside of Rishikesh, India, where I traveled with her on my first sojourn to India in March, 2006 where I discovered the true meaning of devotion. Four years later, I would begin a photo essay in Jerusalem, Israel inspired by the women in prayer at the Western Wall called Devotion.

http://hannahkozak.com/devotion/

@ hannah kozak

Hannah and Gurmukh – Outside Rishikesh, India

@ hannah kozak

Gurmukh & Gurushabd on her birthday in Amritsar, India March 2006

Ten years and six months later, on 2 November 2014, at Golden Bridge Yoga in Santa Monica.

@ hannah kozak

Gurmukh @ Golden Bridge Yoga – 4 November 2014

Gurmukh, Gurushabd 20 December 2014

Gurmukh, Gurushabd
20 December 2014

She seems ageless, as her beauty truly comes from within and not from external traits like hair, clothes or make-up. Gurmukh, like the lotus flower, is continually moving towards the light. Like the lotus flower, she has been to the muddy, yucky, dirty bottom of the pond but she has risen to beauty, to life. The lotus flower has become a symbol of awakening to the spiritual reality of life. Once it comes to the surface of the water, the lotus flower begins to blossom and turn into a beautiful flower. This is Gurmukh.

It’s hard not to love someone who has this printed on her business card:

Travel light.
Live light.
Spread the light.
Be the light.

Yogi Bhajan

Gurmukh:The Light Comes from Within”


Sandra Klein: An Artist with Heart

Sandra Klein: An Artist with Heart

Meeting Sandra Klein in an Aline Smithson class was a gift. Sandra was doing intricate hand embroidered stitching on her photography and I was deeply moved and touched by the detail in her art. Her photographs are poems, and her self portraits are layered with her beautiful heart. She adds text that resonates for her and explores loss, aging and family. Goethe said we see in the world what we carry in our heart and Sandra finds beauty in every corner of her world and her heart. Sandra is also an expert printmaker, with a BFA in printmaking.

Sandra Klein is in a group show running January 11 – April 2, 2015 at the American Jewish University called Wisdom:The Tree of Life.

http://aboutus.aju.edu/Default.aspx?id=7286

Etz Chaim, The Tree of Life is referred to throughout the Torah and is central to Jewish thought, wisdom and teaching. The tree of life is a symbol of knowledge, strength and identity, is in fact, found throughout all spiritual communities. It is often used as a reoccurring theme in poems, songs and visual art both historically and through to present day. The exhibition, Wisdom, The Tree of Life, explores the significance of the tree through the work of four Southern California based artists: Isaac Brnjegard-Bialik, Sandra Klein, Maddy Le Mel and Karen V. Woo.

Sandra Klein-Whisper

Sandra Klein –
Whisper
Archival pigment print
2014

Sandra Klein:  Tea Garden Archival pigment print 2014

Sandra Klein:
Tea Garden
Archival pigment print
2014

Sandra Klein:  Shimmer Archival Pigment Print 2014

Sandra Klein:
Shimmer
Archival Pigment Print
2014

Sandra Klein:  Green Island Archival Pigment Print 2014

Sandra Klein:
Green Island
Archival Pigment Print
2014

Sandra Klein: Early Spring Archival Pigment Print 2014

Sandra Klein:
Early Spring
Archival Pigment Print
2014

Sandra Klein: Snake Tree Archival Pigment Print 2014

Sandra Klein:
Snake Tree
Archival Pigment Print
2014

Sandra Klein: The Calling Archival pigment print 2014

Sandra Klein:
The Calling
Archival pigment print
2014

Sandra Klein Wisdom: The Tree of Life

Sandra Klein
Wisdom: The Tree of Life

Here is Sandra Klein and another photographer and friend Susan Swihart. Susan is part of a collective in Los Angeles known as The Verge. Susan is an observer, a caring mother of three, a committed artist who finds time to create personal observations and was recently featured on Lenscratch:

http://lenscratch.com/2014/10/susan-swihart-if-only/

Susan Swihart, Sandra Klein

Susan Swihart, Sandra Klein

Sandra Klein, a Jewish soul sister, who, like all of us, is in search of herself. Sandra doesn’t claim to have the answers to life, which makes her all the more lovely to be near. Sandra seems to embody what Goethe wrote about: “If you can imagine it, you can create it.”

Sandra Klein

Sandra Klein

Sandra Klein

Sandra Klein

Sandra Klein: An Artist with Heart

Goethe quote

Goethe quote


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