Video Still Capture: A little boy stares into the open sea/ Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Current Location: Midland, Michigan, USA / 43°37′25.0″N 84°13′45.7″W
I'm inspired to write this post after reading an entry on Dan's blog at D2 Photography. In it, he reminded me of how lucky I am, and how safe and secure my life really is. His post today touched me because--in all honesty, my biggest fear in life is not of death or tragedy--but of forgetting-- forgetting how fortunate I am--forgetting how blessed I am with what I have. It scares me to forget.
When I'm on assignment in remote locations, the difference between success and failure lies on my ability to adapt--adapting to my new surroundings, the people, and the culture. That ability alone can determine whether I live or die. And in some cases, death can be a slow and painful fate--starvation, malaria, and diarrhea. It's a sad reality, but it's true. And for the billions of people who do not have access to clean drinking water, proper sanitation, food or basic medical needs, adapting is not an option--it's everyday life at its darkest hour--when every minute is a fight for survival. Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.
When I talk to them--through hand motions and broken English to match their level, the words that I can always understand--no matter how mis-pronounced are: "Never forget us."
Never forget us. Those three words resonate in my heart and fills my soul with chills that permeates to the whiskers of my arms. It haunts me in my sleep and echoes in my mind. I will never forget them. I promise.
For those who know me, know that I live a very simple life--with very few belongings. My apartment is bare and dull with no furniture, no electronics and not even a microwave. I have one spoon, one fork, and one knife. It's all I need. And I like it that way. It's easier for me to look at myself in the mirror when I return from far away places. It helps me to remember them.