Foreword by Lori Marie Carlson
Marilu Ramírez, a retired educator who spent decades instructing bilingual children in the New York City public school system, is also an accomplished photographer. Not surprising are her eagle eye and compassionate personality; after all a dedicated teacher sees her charges in ways that are uniquely sensitive and visceral-- forever trying to reach her students to encourage growth and transformation. These same attributes are evident in Ramírez's craft, as she shares the heart and soul of her artistry with others to evoke epiphanies.
Ramírez has deep roots in two cities: San Juan, Puerto Rico and New York City. And, yet, she is better understood as a wanderer, a veritable citizen of the world. Her passion is travel. She is never happier than when roaming the byways, country lanes, urban avenues, seascapes, and archaeological sites of terrains ranging from the rice paddies of Vietnam to the crowded plazas of Spain to Jordan's ancient heritage sites.
In this book of photographs taken over the course of many years in 33 countries, she addresses the magic and intention of human activity as well as the sublime majesty of nature. Intense color (fuchsia, verdigris, turquoise, chartreuse), yin-yang energy, surprising confluences of human interaction with happenstance: these are the hallmarks of her imagery. One senses immense joy in her photographs. There is a hallelujah in each frame. A meditation of thanksgiving.
Many of Ramírez's images orient the viewer upward, toward an imaginary apex of sorts. Umbrellas hanging high above a thoroughfare; a temple's vaulted ceiling; doves in aerial formation; celestial mountain peaks. It's as if she is leading us away from a reality that meets us at stature level to a more exalted understanding of where we really are in the universe: a realm whose treasures must be summoned in dreams as much as unveiled in our everyday routine.