I have a terribly lovely habit of working hard and playing harder, and while a greater emphasis should be placed on the former if I am to increase my chances of success, I am a selfish bastard who is living life as though I were just informed I have cancer and have only two more months to live. I try to be as honest as possible about my selfishness and hypocrisy (so when others call me out on it I can refer them to the fact that I’ve already acknowledged this contradiction). There’s no need to get into the details of how my actions (transportation, consumption, waste, willful ignorance, technological dependency, not caring to learn about solutions) contribute to war, poverty, and environmental destruction, and I would not be able to argue with a person if they were to accuse me of being cut from same selfish moral cloth as those who would like to make of this world their playground and that I’m just trying to get my piece of the pie. But I would like to think that there is a slight difference between those at the top and myself: even in my actions of excessive energy and material consumption and neglect to my perceived responsibility for service to others and the natural world, I at least try to tread lightly – remaining conscious of the deleterious impacts of my decisions – and not hurt anyone or anything along the way. Not a day passes that I do not thank my lucky stars that I am alive and free. Not a day passes that I am not grateful to whom (my ancestors) and what (the rest of nature) has given me this opportunity to be alive. By the same token, not a day passes that I do not remind myself of those in this world whose lives have been destroyed as a result of the policies carried out by the government and military of my country and their inter-governmental and corporate accomplices, subsidized by my taxpayer dollars, and for whose livelihoods I've failed to fight for.
I believe that one way to avert a regrettable experience of one’s death is to position yourself well beforehand. That is to say when you die, you may have a chance to glance at what you have done and who you have become and compare that to your unfulfilled dreams, and while you may not have had the opportunities to fulfill your goals, if you can say that you’ve tried to do the things you set out to do then you’ll be alright, even if you weren’t able to see everything through. But, if at the moment of your death you look back and say that you did not try, then you shall die in regret and with a heavy weight bearing down upon your broken soul. Having said that, here are some photographs of my friend’s farm in Northern California, where I go to pick persimmons to send to my mom every fall. This slideshow is followed by some of an autumnal motorcycle ride to the Mendocino Coast. I failed to adequately capture the beauty of the fall along this ride because I had other things on my mind than taking pictures, but I thought to myself today: you should have taken the time to take more pictures, autumn is but once a year, and there will come a time for both you and the fall to come to an end.