All of these lives.
Sometimes they bump into each other. Even collide.
But more often they blindly, blurrily go past. Quiet. Ashen. Fluid and endless.
I’m not in the middle, or just near any edge. Only a broken-hearted passerby, fumbling with an introduction.
The way the world looks from the sky, everything is so small. Even understandable.
Tiny, silver, terra firma stars amid shadows pressing skyward past smoke rising off of things that seem purple.
It’s quiet, and beautiful, and intricate.
Just like up close.
Clasping palms, with fingers interlaced and the innocent brushing of fingerprints. Looking into black eyes, heads sharing a pillow and every breath a warm, soft breeze on each other’s mouth.
Quiet. Beautiful. Intricate.
Yet still, the reckless in-betweens bind and blind.
Ugly notions formed of partial understanding and presumptions.
The quick-to-judge, not-enough-time gravity pulling everyone to the lowest common denominator.
Always full of noise, wailing mostly about slow trust, walls and guards and such.
Sometimes it feels like all the world is shouting out in a chorus of frightened, angry desperation. Numbing. Deafening.
Sometimes I think all that’s wrong is that maybe love just lost its voice. Too soft and noble for higher decibels, waiting for a reprieve that never comes.
Sometimes I think we’ve forgotten how to love so others can hear.
Sometimes I think we simply forget.
We forget to love out loud.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia (December 2, 2014) — On the completion of 10 months serving as a Kiva Fellow. Writing stories, photographing chickens, being scared, losing weight, gaining weight, making friends, naming toys, waving at dogs, being spoiled, staring down sunsets, infiltrating rituals, singing to lions, crying with heroes, traversing floodplains, collecting shells, dodging questions, laughing at monks, snacking on crickets, making up words, going where I shouldn’t, dreaming to artificial rain, swatting at flies, pressing flowers, bathing in four seas, being grateful and smiling like a son-of-a-bitch in Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Great Britain and New Zealand.