To Love Life
There are at least a couple things about this photograph that would suggest it is not taken in, say, Miami. First, the woman is wearing her clothes into the sea. Second, she is playing with water in much the same way a three-year-old would.
I mean neither of these observations in a negative way. Like many other Vietnamese women, she wants to protect her skin from the sun. As for the playful splashing, I silently cheered her ability to delight in such a simple thing. What beauty!
The woman and her husband, both from the port city of Haiphong, were on a daytrip to Cat Ba Island to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary. Her love, I couldn’t help but notice, was directed not only toward her husband but also toward life itself—part of what her husband found attractive about her, I suspect.
In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, there is a dialogue between two characters about the “meaning of life.” In it, the one character offers this astute observation:
“I’ve always thought that, before anything else, people should learn to love life in this world.”
”To love life more than the meaning of life?”
”Yes, that’s right. That’s the way it should be—love should come before logic, just as you said. Only then will man be able to understand the meaning of life.”