Some of the best days of my life, on days I was actually alive, were when I had everything that mattered to me on a backpack on my back and an unknown destination on the horizon. I can recall one such day vividly. I had just come ashore on Koh Lanta, a small, cigar-shaped Thai island in the Andaman Sea. I secured the rental of a sleek red scooter for a week. I stopped in an open air cafe for a quick fresh mango juice. As I sipped it, out of nowhere played John Lennon's "Instant Karma!" over the cafe's speakers. As I left the cafe, got on the scooter, tightened my faithful Cerro Torre 55-liter pack to my back, and took off down the island through jungle roads, by hamlets on the corner with children playing, all with Lennon's words still resonating in my head, I cannot describe the level of Freedom I felt then. Absolute, pure Freedom. I was completely untethered. It is a memory strong enough that if I knew I were to die in the next three seconds, I would recall this memory and die with that feeling as my last fleshly experience.
Of course I was dressed in my classic world traveler clothes, faithful green Cerro Torre Coolmax button up shirt, and outdoor cargo shorts, and at the time an infallible pair of Addidas all condition open trail running water shoe. Hell, I dress not much different to this day, nor in any city I went to. Clothes that maximized my Freedom. I could go anywhere, do anything.
I can never wear a suit. Though I was being paid to be in the room with the man pictured above, I was Free, I was being paid to do the only work I currently can find tolerable, and that is photography. I empathized with the man though, wondering if he was recalling a memory of pure Freedom, if he knew not how he got to where he was in suit in tie, in Florida of all places. If before he got married he was in the jungles of southeast Asia knowing not where he would sleep that night, but being damn thankful to have found an amazing hillside bungalow with monkeys waiting on the porch and a nearby cliff that stretched out past the jungle's reach to give a clear, vast view of the Andaman Sea, at sunset. "And we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun." Instant karma's going to get you.....not me though. I would die first.