I know Jay

When you travel alone you are forced to interact with strangers. I wasn’t REALLY travelling alone when I went to Kathmandu in 2010, but I left Norway alone to meet unknown travellers with the same passion as mine – Photography.

Jay Desind

Jay was one of them.

I felt pretty miserable at the time, and so did Jay after having lost his partner of 17 years. I guess we were all people with our own stories. People from different parts of the world now thrown into a pot like ingredients forming a stew. People who found the purpose of the journey exiting enough to head out into the unknown alone.

Jay made video blogs from his encounters, and preferred to be out alone when he was photographing. We were joking that he would become really famous some day. And then we all would be able to say “I know Jay”. We still joke about this in the Facebook group from the trip.

A year later I was on a workshop in Laos, and Jay stopped by in Luang Prabang to catch up with us. He had started on his round-the-world trip. And was starting to lighten up. After spinning a globe and placing his finger on it -Berlin was where the globe told him to go next.  Come spring Jay had landed in Italy for a longer time – and I went to visit.

This time Jay had started on writing a book of poems. Poems that were happy, and poems that were sad. Poems from his life, but also poems of invented stories. A photograph became a story. A story of how the lives of the people in the poems were. Inside Jay’s head that is. Poems of how their lives could have been. He had this stack of paper – like printer paper you buy in a shop – and they all had a photo and a poem on them. I remember my jaw dropping.

After Jay made a visit back to The States… the book is actually printed. And even available on Amazon.

I got to see it – well I acutally got my own copy – when Jay came to visit me in Oslo last month.

The photo above is from the Vigeland Sculpture park here in Oslo.

Jay also spoke in my camera club and sold out all the copies of the book. He didn’t have time to speak with me during the break. I was so proud. My friend. Perhaps I know Jay now. A little :-)


“Today would have been Donald’s 56th birthday”

Where is home
Where do I belong
Donald, where are you …
I’m on the streets of Copenhagen
I’ve been to Singapore
I’m searching for something
I don’t know what


Where is home
What happens to those that are gone
Donald, it’s your birthday
I’m in Denmark
They have 7-Elevens but no Big Gulp
I went into one to see if I would catch a glimpse
I didn’t see you, are you


Where is home
More countries than fingers
Donald, you for a long time my universe
I’ve traveled inside myself millions of miles
Everywhere I go
Signs of new possibilities
Reminders of you, close to my heart


Jay Desind
Jay’s Fan Page:  The Unobrusive Eye on Facebook

the Hotel Vidal by Jay Desind

2 Responses to “I know Jay”

  1. Jay says:

    ….this is what I believe… As my plane dropped out of the sky to land safely within sight of Serenissima, myself tired and a little grumpy from a delayed flight, all these places I had just been to a jumble of 5,000 photos on my iPhone, the anticipation of seeing my guy later on for dinner and a kiss and a hug…

    ….I believe later, Roberto gone and my flat still cold from three weeks of hibernation, myself so very tired and my insides jumbled with the decisions before me…

    …I believe that when I saw the sudden illumination of my iPhone screen that led me click on a link and open this posting…

    …there are no days where we are truly alone and we do not need to fear the unknown… We are all at some point in someone else’s thoughts… Thanks, Eli, for making Norway an adventure for me… And even more thanks for helping guide that plane out of the sky into the embrace of Roberto, and later in my bed toasty with the thought that there are Norwegian angels blessing me to sleep…

  2. Eli R. says:

    I am happy to be your personal air hostess, Jay :-)

    I can’t help being excited about all the things that can happen when we just say ‘yes’ to going out on a limb. That said… it isn’t always easy!

    You are my guide in showing that homes we leave… sort of travels with us as we arrive at new homes… or something like that.

    That we can carry the past with us without clinging to it.

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