"If what you are following, however, is your own true adventure, if it is something appropriate to your deep spiritual need or readiness, then magical guides will appear to help you. If you say, ‘Everyone’s going on this trip this year, and I’m going too,’ then no guides will appear. Your adventure has to be coming right out of your own interior. If you are ready for it, then doors will open where there were no doors before, and where there would not be doors for anyone else. And you must have courage. It’s the call to adventure, which means there is no security, no rules."
— Joseph Campbell, from A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living
"I was thinking how amazing it was that the world contained so many lives. Out in these streets people were embroiled in a thousand different matters, money problems, love problems, school problems. People were falling in love, getting married, going to drug rehab, learning how to ice-skate, getting bifocals, studying for exams, trying on clothes, getting their hair-cut and getting born. And in some houses people were getting old and sick and were dying, leaving others to grieve. It was happening all the time, unnoticed, and it was the thing that really mattered."
A polar bear swims underwater at a Zoo in St-Felicien, Quebec.
Canada is home to some 15,000 of the estimated 20,000 polar bears in the world.
Where do we even begin to describe our 2011 Pictures of the Year? We’ll let the pictures do the talking here.
Every year is made up of countless moments that humble us, terrify us, sadden us. Moments that make us laugh, cringe, shake our heads in disbelief or wonder. Photographers strive to capture those moments, to tell us something of the times we live in. This gallery presents the pictures that did just that over the past year:
Pictured: About two weeks after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami devastated eastern Japan, killing some 16,000 people, a baby undergoes a check for radiation in Fukushima City. A nearby nuclear power plant suffered major damage in the March 11 disaster, and the zone surrounding the facility was evacuated. As yet, no one has died as a direct result of nuclear exposure, but fears over the long-term effects of radiation leaks from the plant, which has since been disabled, have not dissipated.