11 January 2013
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”
– Seneca, Epistle CIV, Letters to Lucilius (full text in English)
As I wandered on the shores of the river surrounding the island of Ayutthaya, in central Thailand, I observed this local boy repeatedly climb up a metal ladder planted on a floating platform and dive into the water. The water was far from transparent or turquoise (like in other places in Thailand) but that didn't refrain him from enjoying himself as the sun was quickly setting – I like the colour gradation of the sky in the picture I took, as well as the silhouette of the ladder and of the boy, with a very faint highlight on his right side. After reaching the top of the ladder, he would pause, proud of his boldness, very quickly and timidly glancing back at me, perhaps to make sure I was patiently observing. It made me smile.
PS1. Here's the quote in French: "Ce n’est point parce [que l'essai] est difficile que nous n’osons pas ; c’est parce que nous n’osons pas, qu’il est difficile." (French text)
PS2. See here for a previous post with another quote by Seneca.