Defiance in old age

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Nakedness seems to carry no shame in Bali, where I’ve often stumbled upon women bathing in the river without a care, sometimes even with the sound of male chatter not too far away.

When I first met a friend’s great-grandma, she was only wearing a loose sarong (wrap cloth) around her hips.

I asked if I could photograph her and after gaining her permission I put a blouse on her, because I struggled with capturing her nakedness. Was it right or wrong to cover her? I’m not too sure.

She could not see me well but stared ahead watching nothing with her blue-rimmed eyes clouded over with cataracts. Behind her hung a portrait of her late husband, watching over her as she spent most days sitting rigidly on this wooden platform.

Her gaze was so piercing, which I found unusual for such an elderly person. I’ve never seen anyone look so defiant in old age.

One thought on “Defiance in old age

  1. she is beautiful.
    It is my understanding that you covered her both out of respect for her, and likely conditioning from your own culture. We are not accustomed to nudity and I often marvel about how far we have come from the source.

    Liked by 1 person

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