I realized that I was getting to look closely at Russians in a way that few westerners had. I mean physically use my eyes and my brain to pour over them from a foot or even inches from them, As i might slightly adjust their angle to the camera or their head position, I was actually physical touching many of them, a lot of them, ever so gently and feeling their humanity, their breathing, looking at the pores of their skin and the sadness and beauty deep in their eyes, and at the same time trying to expose my own humanity to them, to let them see me. As I took a break from the concentration of making the picture, I often thought how remarkably privileged I was.
This was more than maneuvering myself into a good place to look through a window that had been shut for years. This had something to do with luck, because I believe absolutely in luck, but this had to do with my dreams and my destiny, because as a child I realized photography could help people understand each other and I would bring back the evidence that we were shared many the same hopes and humanity as the people I grew up with in small town Arkansas, and in small town New York state. These were ordinary and not so ordinary people who’s aspirations dreams, pleasures, and pain, were no different than the folks I knew and loved and felt intimately connected to.