Sunday, April 24, 2011

There are way too many emails from the past four years that I would like to share. However, as much as I want everyone to know the way this man thought about everything - good, bad or wacky - I've decided that the email below from Afghanistan will have been enough to give you guys a sense of the Hondros brain. A little string of thoughts from a dude with a camera in a desert.*

His emails were always an important part of my own solo travel, as no matter how far we were from one another, the idea that we were both alone and far from home was enough to make it seem like you had a friend right beside you.

When he would be in a conflict zone and I would be at home, I would always wonder what it would be like to be shooting beside him.



You gotta come to Afghanistan sometime, baby: first of all you could BE Afghan, for it's a land of Alli-ish women, all olive-skinned and green-eyed with just a hint of ethnic ambiguousness. You could easily stroll down the street in Kabul with an air of purpose in your step in some loose pants and a little headscarf and no one would be the wiser. (The camera, though--that fucks it up, as I've seen myself many times in my own attempted blending-in sessions around the world.)

Ah yes. There's definitely something alive about being here though; it makes me reflective and philosophical; been doing a lot of thinking. Not to mention my birthday, too. So I've been pondering the big issues: Love, Timing, Sex, even Death. I don't know if I've come to any grand conclusions, save some fairly obvious ones that still are important to remind oneself of periodically: Love is important. And Timing is important for love. And having a heart open to others is important, and that's part of both Love and Timing. And by the way, that Sex thing, is marvelous. (See all these original ideas and concepts I've reasoned my way to in the desert?) Seriously, something I've thought a lot about lately is how much better sensuous things are now than when I was 20ish: food, wine, sex, all that. Everyone likes sex of course but I think most 20ish people like it in a sort of rote or instictive way, and actually a lot of younger people I know seem to be able to go without for while if the circumstances call for it--I think it's because they don't truly appreciate it yet. I was like that back in the day, in retrospect. But the real thirst for it, the real sublime mental/physical pleasure and appreciation and true lust--that only gets stronger and better with time. It's beautiful and fascinating what the body can do, it's capacity for pleasure--nature and the conscious mind combining with functions of the body to create a real art. Lots of parallels with food in that too; I think that's why food can be so sensuous.

Anyway, so what's up back in the city? You still the belle of MSG? I have to photograph the chief-of-mission here (General McChrystal) tommorrow here in Kabul, and after that I'm a bit adrift; trying to put in for another Army embed but they're saying it might be April 1 until they can place me anywhere, in which case I'd probably just head home early. Though me being my usual brilliant self I scheduled those subletters I told you about until March 31, so I don't even know where I'd stay if I did come home--probably hang with friends a day or two and go see my mother down in NC, something like that.

Whenever it is, drinks when I get back, right? Come out to Dumbo again and we'll really do the hood right--we'll drink and be foolish and talk about life and all things important.


Photo: Chris and me at one of the famed Hondros/Heisler New Year's Eve parties (12.31.09)

*Amended 4/25/11

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