There are moments. There are moments when the prism of perspective is forgotten and disjointed snapshots, abandoned memories, success and failures, hopes and disappointments coalcesce and combine and become one. There are moments when life pulls the puzzle pieces together and you stand in awe of creation. There are moments.
I lay next to Breckan while a shepard sings a call to prayer. The notes, weighted by faith, slide over the stone hovels and green valleys and smoulder on the mountains before lifting into the darkening night. And stars begin to break through the ice blue sky and cliffs are illuminated by a still unseen moon and the old voice continues to lift the song as he paces on a stone wall and sings to all the good and bad and great and wicked about life.
And my past feels like my future and my future feels less important and I think of the stifling humidity of laos. The sand and dirt and wind and snow and ice of China. Of dinners cooked in desperation as temperatures drop well below freezing and the kindness of strangers and frustrations of politics. The chaos of 12 million people moving at once in Lahore. The emptiness of thousands of miles of desert. Of nights spent in barns and in yurts and in abandoned ruins. A picture of my dad. He is young and handsome and his leg is thrown over a bike and he is about to ride away from home and he is 18. His adventure was begining. His life was begining and now he is gone. He looks away past the camera as my grandma stares, disbelieving and little scared, at the photographer. And I am my fathers son.
And I think of my shuddering sleeping babies and the stories I will tell them and the stories they will tell their children. Stories of cultures now abandoned and long destroyed ancient cities and men riding horses until the animals hearts explode with effort. Stories of freedom and stories of Breckan riding higher than they have ever walked. Stories of weeks without showers, and border gaurds with guns aimed and ready to shoot and yak doctors who were married at 13 year old. And pashtun warriors and Tibetan nomads. Women with coral in their hair and proud men riding over plains with the wind in theirs.
There are moments when stories and memories and experiences become your story and your memory and your experience. There are moments the nagging of doubt disappear. The song has now ceased. And now it is silent and her breathing is shallower becasue she is asleep and the yellow gas lamps are extinguished in the stone houses. It is dark now and only weak shadows, cast by the moon, stand apart. And this is who you are.
I really hope everyone has enjoyed this blog. I've had a lot of fun writing it. Breck and I head back to the states in two or three days and are probably going to switch back to http://www.breckandspencer.blogspot.com/. I think the rest of our pakistan pictures and most of our edited pictures will end up over there as well. Thanks for all the support. There were seriously quite a few days when the idea that there were people who cared about this kept us going. So I guess that's it.