The Thin Gauze of Doubt and The Multiverse


The scene is one I can imagine centuries ago. A young man overlooking his homeland, within his reach a promise of a career to ensure him of a great life. A “normal life” both he and his family have dreamt about since he was a kid.

His dream at his fingertips, he does not move. He sits there perplexed at the struggle within his soul. A piece of him desires something very different, something unknown. He can taste the adrenalin of this uncertainty.


Two thoughts tangle, tearing him up. A decision has to be made. A divergence of his universe, in one he will stand up, walk back to the village and accept his career to settle into a normal life, while in the other he’ll look over his land one last time and accept adventure as his new destiny.

The divergence was instantaneous.


He sits motionless, wondering which spirit remains. The shadow of a setting sun shifts the appearance of his surroundings and over the horizon, a faint sound calls out catching his attention. He draws a breath and looks over his land.


“How did you end up doing what you’re doing?” her question snapped my head up from the photograph in front of me. “You had a freshly minted MBA, a simple plan of embracing the American Dream working with a Fortune 500 and somehow you fell into this crazy global existence.” She looked at me half-mockingly.

“The American Dream rejected me…and I panicked,” I laughed. “Once the seed of doubt entered my thinking, there was no looking back.”


I look back at the photo. Wonder what life would have been like if I’d hung around the States instead of taking a flyer of adventure in Asia?

Enjoying this contradiction, I review the photo and the stack of journals in front of me, searching to find a trace of a young man who disappeared so long ago.


She holds out a piece of paper, and reads from it:

“Invincibility.  The youthful feeling of blind confidence where anything imagined can be achieved.  Memories of flying down a mountain, one foot barely touching down on a boulder before confidently taking flight again, suspending life as the other foot searches and touches down lightly only to set off once more.  Freedom.  Repeat until exhausted.”  

“Zero fear,” she says after reading the passage. “All of his senses meshing perfectly with nature and in total confidence.  No thought of failure.  Bliss.”


“I can understand this feeling,” I add, “youthful invincibility is one of the best stages of life where everything seems possible…running through it all, never believing it will end.”

“Then one day, a faint touch of doubt enters the mind mid-stride and the peaceful invincibility begins to fade. Strained by the thinnest gauze of doubt, the confidence of the immortal mind of youth vanishes forever.  And life begins…”

She reads to me, handing me a yellowed piece of parchment as she finishes, dated a day before the young man disappeared.


“The stage of life where we all find ourselves lost at some point…” she says aloud while carefully turning a page of a journal.

“The time between the youthful invincibility of blind confidence where everything will work out as dreamed, and the age of reason where experience brings an understanding that it’s alright if it doesn’t…”


I smile at this thought. The Gauze of Doubt introduced itself to me when my version of the American Dream faded right out of school along with the myth of a normal life. My favorite quote, Doc Holliday from the movie Tombstone still rings clear, “there’s no such thing as a normal life, there’s just life…”


The photo and journals date back to the mid-1800’s, a young man with a lust for life imprinted on his character, a man who spun his own destiny. Words of wisdom in his thoughts, words that hold strength because they’re backed by his actions.

Experience matters. Friendship matters. Integrity matters. After his disappearance, his journals and stories focus on the lives he touched and his new surroundings.


Veering off the well-worn road to success, he chose the path of adventure. He traveled. He learned. He traveled some more.

He never forgot the moment the gauze of doubt covered his eyes, unexpectedly sending him hurtling into a divergent universe. A universe he created.

There is a sense of envy I have reading his words, my wish to experience and see the pieces of life he lived.


Three stages of life formed his writing, at each stage an opportunity to accede into a new reality:

  • The Invincibility of Youth, where dreams are created and the mind believes anything is possible.
  • The chaos of the Thin Gauze of Doubt, where adjusting to reality and creating a life becomes the new truth.
  • The wisdom of The Age of Reason, where a life pursued is a life well lived ~ experiences forming the answers.


“There is a bit of Thoreau in his philosophy, his writing reminds me of the quote “…not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves...[Henry David Thoreau, Walden]” she looks back at me while taking a sip of her coffee. “The thin gauze of doubt he talks about may dissolve the confidence of youth, but in doing so it ramps up the adrenaline of reality.”

“Almost two hundred years separate you two, but yes, you do have your great, great grandfather’s mind, half stuck in reality and half elsewhere,” her eyes giggle, meeting mine.

And doubt seizes the day. Will I ever find out what happened to him?


It is intriguing to look back in time, to dream of changing the unchangeable, but the past pales in anticipation of tomorrow’s opportunities.

I do not move. I sit there perplexed at the struggle within my soul. A piece of me desiring something very different, something unknown, and I can taste the adrenalin of this uncertainty.

The divergence was instantaneous…


Side Note: The Multiverse theory, of which there are many, is widely considered to be fact, with top physicists leading the way. Imagine, a conscious decision (taken or ignored) where you diverge from your universe and begin a new adventure.


Also, thanks to Timothy Price for insights into B&W photography, a new venture for me and it’s a brave new world…

307 Comments on “The Thin Gauze of Doubt and The Multiverse

  1. Great photos, and a great use of black and white. I really like the woman smoking in the market, and the simple photo of the young girl 3rd to the end.

    • I remember the moment I took this shot well, a very confident and at ease lady ~ my first full day in Myanmar and I could hardly contain my excitement to explore this new and amazing culture. The simple shot of the girl (3rd to end) had a different feel, almost opposite. In a temple and not wanting to interrupt the peaceful and beautiful setting of the family got a smile and nod from her mother and felt the peace. Thank you Jeff.

      • That top lady does exude confidence. It is nice when the photos bring back memories. We are headed to Myanmar for 10 days in two weeks, going to stay around Yangon and the south. Can’t wait!

      • How you will love the place ~ the people and culture swept me up and it is a feeling that still has not left me 🙂 I spent the majority of photographic time outside of Yangon (Bagan, Pindaya and Inle Lake), but stuck around Yangon for business…magic to be found everywhere. Enjoy and look forward to hearing about your adventures!

    • Isn’t this the best feeling when it arrives? A sense of something new and different, and whether it is good/bad does not matter as much as understanding regardless of what happens we move forward. Thanks Edwin, wish you a great weekend.

  2. These photos are fantastic. The B&W photos have really good tonal ranges and beautiful finishes. I love the mist, sun rays through dust, and smoke in the various photos. The portraits are beautiful with a really warm and personal feel to them. I don’t think you needed too much of my insights on B&W based on these photos! 😉

    • A couple of the books/links you mentioned to me led to some interesting discussions on tonal ranges ~ and as you said, most fascinating is looking at great B&W photographs and seeing what grabs me. Such a wide range of styles/processing. A B&W portrait can be so much more expressive than color at times. Cheers to a great weekend, thanks Timothy.

      • The variety in B&W is amazing. Color can be a as much of a distraction as an asset.

  3. Awesome! Every pictures and every passage that goes along are moving together so well that keep me thinking of my own. How true for those 3 stages of life. That is an interesting thought about Multiverse our conscious decision can move us from one to the other. Proving one other than us exist would really be more exciting than finding an alien life form else where in our large universe.

    I love your B&W pictures. The choice of selected colors in them are wonderful – subtly vivid.

    • Subtly vivid ~ I like this description you make on the selected colors, I was surprised how much thought I took to decide what I wanted. I’m with you in thinking of the universe as a place of limitless opportunities and ideas…an exciting thought and relaxing for me. It also puts into perspective the stages of life as well, they all flow between each other. Thank you very much – you’ve given me a great compliment in that you thought of your own thinking with these passages. Wish you a great one, cheers!

  4. Many beautiful points on which to ruminate, Randall. The paths one takes when composing a life… I love the Doc Holliday quote among other gems. The images you’ve chosen to convert to black and white work beautifully. Some shots just call out for monochrome, don’t they? Wonderful post, thanks.

    • Isn’t the Doc Holliday quote perfect…it really took me until my 20s to figure out this out (later than my friends). I think it is because I did not want my idyllic life and feeling of invincibility to end, a splash of cold water to the face when meeting life head on :-0 Thank you Jane, and agree there are shots where monochrome captures parts of the spectrum that color cannot.

      • Your twenties? Still figuring it out in my fifties, with a few revelations along the way. 😁

      • Ha, it was in my twenties when my feeling of invincibility started crumbling ~ and the law of entropy where chaos replaces order is all I know these days 🙂 Cheers Jane ~ to photography to lead us the way!

    • Thank you Maverick ~ not quite sure if the words helped form the images or the images the words, regardless made it a fun post to compose.

  5. She adds depth to your already diverse facets, Randall 🙂 Simple words; difficult choices. Photographic clarity.
    Doesn’t get much better than that my friend.

    Psst, I’d love to read that journal!


    • Thank you SE, I think keeping things simple make the difficult decisions almost resolves themselves. Focus on the clarity of the day, and keep floating down the river of life: the calm flats, incredible rapids and inevitably getting tossed & turned at times. “Photographic clarity” ~ that is one thing that does help keep me grounded. Cheers and wishing you the very best ~

  6. Gorgeous! Love the rice paddies and the misty-sisters rocky peaks. The second to last photo is truly stunning. Your narrative enhances the gorgeous imagery. Beautiful Randall~

    • I should’ve guessed you’d like being high above it all with your choice of the 2nd to last photo 🙂 It is a view from atop of Mt. Ellinor looking across Puget Sound (and Seattle to the left) at Mt. Rainier in the distance ~ total bliss of nature and silence. Wish you a great day Cindy, thank you very much.

    • Thank you Eliza, while I do not shoot a lot of portraits ~ when I do, there is not a better feeling of trying to capture something beautiful/spiritual. To do justice for the person allowing me to take their photograph 🙂

  7. All the photos are great Randall, but I like the last two. As Cindy said, they are stunning! Dreamy post too, I had a feeling this post was about your story. I seem to be stuck in phase two of doubt with no clear sense of where to take my life. maybe because I never fully accepted the chaos or jumped off into the passion of photography, travel and adventure. I thoroughly enjoy your posts and mix of words and photos.

    • Thank you Brad, it was strange putting the post together in the sense that I was thinking of the past (my ancestors) and then of life in general ~ and how things never change too much. Phase two is the one that dominates our lives, too many moments where things simply do not make sense. Finding that one thing today that gets the juices flowing and then “forcing” the habit moving forward is I suppose how I’ve tried to control the chaos to some extent. Not sure if we ever fully get out of stage two, perhaps just learn how to manage it better with experiences and the simple thought that ‘it doesn’t matter much anyway!’ Decisions these days I let make themselves, and just trust the thought of continuing moving forward. Cheers to a great weekend, enjoy ~

      • Thanks for the clarification Randall. It sounded like you spend more time in phase 3 from the post. I seem to spend much of my time in the chaos too. I would love to learn to allow the decisions! 🙂

  8. These are all great photographs, Randall. I particularly liked the one of the man cycling down the lane. I remember something I heard one of the scientists say in a documentary about the multiverse concept. He said that if there really is a multiverse, then anything that is physically possible has not only happened but has happened an infinite number of times!

    Can it be true? In an infinite number of universes, I’ve exhibited the naive feelings of youthful invincibility. In an infinite number of universes, I was right to do so. In an infinite number of universes, it was a terrible mistake. Even stranger, in an infinite number of universes, I’ve taken that photograph of the man on the bicycle and in an infinite number of universes, you’ve written all my blog posts.

    • The cycling photo was one I cherish in that I was waiting as the sun rose to hit this area of the tree and filter the rays…and the cyclist joined in beautifully. I love your logic with the infinite number of universe scenario ~ even tried this multiverse rationale with a beautiful blonde I met once…she was amused 🙂 The idea of a multiverse is great to keep someone grounded, as there are ones where we’re vulnerable and living not so well. Loved your comment and perception, cheers to a great day.

  9. The depths of your photography will move along perfectly with your new vision and stories to tell, Randall. I enjoyed the subtle pastels, the rose color in particular stole the show for me, told a story all on its own. May have been spoken only in my head, and without much knowledge of the scene on my end, but it was lovely to visit.

    The multiverse theory is an interest of mine. The power to move is infectious. Within the last few years my choices have followed along this belief. To move one must first move. Terrifying but incredibly fulfilling if you allow. I loved this post, Mr. Collis.

    Best of luck with B&W. Your colors will always brighten my day even when monochrome. 🙂

    • The one great joy of photography with me is being able to look back at the stories it tell. One photo brings to mind my memories of the place and people I am with (one story) and then something different and creative with the person/scene I am shooting. I think the latter is the one so interesting, as it can speak to the viewer of the shot as well (and often differently). In a sense, photography and its stories is where two universes allow themselves to touch, if only for a moment, and exchange secrets. 🙂 The rose colored shot is one of my favorites too…remember the scene well. Hope you continue to see colors on monochrome days 🙂 Cheers and thank you Audrey.

      • I relate to your explanation, Randall. I feel similarly when writing a poem and matching it to a photo I’ve taken. Many times I’ve been surprised by the pairings…how they belong together. Hoping your return to China was a safe one, Sir. xo

      • Thank you much Audrey ~ I can definitely see the same within your work. Wishing you well.

  10. The combination of B/W and then coloured photos is very effective when the narrative goes back and forth from past to presence. Doubt is very instrumental in reasoning to prove that it can be done. And I do believe of the theory of different planes, call it what you like, the supernatural that no science can explain. One just have to experience it. Too bad we age and live the life. Yes,LIFE.

    • It is frustrating when aging limits us. No longer do I sprint up mountains, at least not without aches and pains hounding me the next day, but it is shifting into another stage of life that makes it so sweet. Resting and taking in the silence/beauty I never noticed before is enlightening. Learning so much more about the macro-nature of life (the universe) and micro-nature (quantum state)…and it makes me smile. Thank you Perpetua, I think you’ve had plenty of planes in your lifetime ~ the Philippines to Canada to your current travels, a look at life from so many different angles 🙂

  11. Every photo a gem. I look at your photos and get a feel for how much better my own could be. Never stop learning. I took that divergent path during the invincibility of youth, and as a result, and choice, have never had a ‘normal’ life. The gauze of doubt came and went – I had to do what I had to do. I’ve long known of the multiverses. Thank you for your beautiful photographs.

    • Thank you very much Alison, I’m a huge believer in learning as well and so much out there to take in. The different cultures and thoughts I run across in a day can amazing me at times…every path different, yet brilliantly correct as well. To look back and wonder is so healthy, as we weigh it against the truth of what it is we had to do (and did). Wishing you a great autumn ahead and more adventures and times of reminiscing.

  12. I think this is my favorite post Randall. Beautiful deep wisdom here. I will keep this close by to remind me to expand in moments of doubt and fear. “The time between the youthful invincibility of blind confidence where everything will work out as dreamed, and the age of reason where experience brings an understanding that it’s alright if it doesn’t…” To know this deeply is a gift. Namaste.

    • Thank you Karen, the way you write about this as well is special. Those moments of doubt and fear that can be so powerful make up perhaps the most volatile and helpless feeling we can have. Waiting for the moment to take the first step to set things right and regain some order of life is so difficult, but also so powerful when it does happen. Part of the beauty of life, found in both happiness and tragedy. Sometimes I wonder how people do it. Wishing you well ~

  13. Again an amazing post! I was delighted to read your words and to admire the photos. It is a very personal post… am I wrong? Best wishes!

    • This is a bit of a personal post, a reflective post. Dreams of life ~ past, current and yet lived 🙂 Thank you very much Dana on enjoying the post, written on a creative day for me! Cheers to a great week ahead.

      • Wish you thousands of creative days! I’ll be here…
        All the best to you!

  14. Hello Randall,
    Everyone else has already made some wonderful comments and observations. Simply amazing, and I love your B&W photography. The Multiverse theory is very interesting indeed! I hope you never stop your craft.

    On a self centered note I find myself at a crossroads of sorts, seriously wondering how to proceed… But reading this is giving me a clue, I think… Wishing you a lovely weekend, best wishes from us in Tokyo 🙂

    • Hi Takami ~ the feeling of being at a crossroad is both exhausting and a bit helpless, which is necessary to process everything around you…and this makes the difficult time of making the decision that much better, as when it is made there is nothing left to do but pursue the new path. I’m very interested in hearing more about this. Photography and writing does allow an additional avenue to ponder over things for me, often letting the ‘decision’ make itself by continually moving forward. This post was a reminder for me as well 🙂 Wishing you well ~ and sunny days in the week ahead. Cheers…

  15. I love your fiction writing within the multiverse theory. I guess its related to the string theory too. I often wonder if I have versions of myself in different universes living very different lives at the same time in accordance to once decision or another that I may have made in time. Your photos are gorgeous, the black and white ones I love and also the black and white with a touch of colour (I want to know how to do that!).
    Have a great weekend!

    • There is truly a magic world when looking at it through the eyes of a physicist. The multiverse theory is very relaxing for me, keeps me motivated to make the one I’m in now the best for me ~ to continue to try to do the right thing. Just think, in one of the universes out there, we’re sitting together in a HK coffee shop enjoying our morning cups looking over the harbor 😉 And I teach you how to add a bit of color (very simple). Cheers to a great weekend.

      • Hey I’m sure you’re right that in one of those universes we’re there in HK and you teach me how to add the colour.
        In my current universe, though, I’ll probably google the “how to” one of these days and you’ll see it in some photo in my blog 😉
        But that other universe sounds better 🙂 Cheers!

      • Very good point, but perhaps there will come a day when we can jump in-between the universes and experience a bit of what our ‘other-selves’ are doing. That would be fun. Cheers and enjoy your week ahead.

      • Could be fun, like permanently being an actor, or having many hats! Have a great week you too!

      • Hang on. I just remembered I once did a black and white with colour photo edit on photoshop. So you select the parts you want in colour. Revert the selection and make the reverted selection in black and white. Right?

      • Your method is correct, and a very good one :-). Different than what I did, I use LightRoom, and for my selections I used the specific color levels and varied the saturation.

  16. This is a beautifully written and beautifully illustrated piece. The idea that every quantum possibility occurs, and that new and separate universes/realities are created by each one, is amazing and mind-boggling. And for me, comforting.

    I really like this part:

    Veering off the well-worn road to success, he chose the path of adventure. He traveled. He learned. He traveled some more.

    He never forgot the moment the gauze of doubt covered his eyes, unexpectedly sending him hurtling into a divergent universe. A universe he created.

    The gauze of doubt becomes a portal to discovery. Maybe this happens most often to the young and adventurous. But while it doesn’t happen often, I think it can happen any time.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • This is one of the finest comments/compliments I’ve received Bill, thank you. The stories of both the photographs and the words were crafted in such a way they meshed well in my mind. Never quite sure how it will come out when put down on paper or if others see things the same way, so always nice to hear when it happens. I agree with you, times when we find these portals of opportunity to discovery do not happen often, but when they do…watch out 🙂 Cheers!

  17. Remarkable images (as always).
    The clarity of the children’s eyes always touches me.

    • The same with me Vicki, there is so much life in such eyes ~ I think that is why as adults we do all we can to make sure they see and experience happiness in their youth so they know what to pursue as adults 🙂 Thank you and wish you a great week ahead.

  18. BOW, BOW, BOW. A most remarkable piece!
    I see myself in this people. But then, I got blessed with so many things. A lot of my dreams did come true, and I’m forever grateful. However, most of these blessings and dreams I’ve received are not about money or expensive possessions I got. I still give money to my parents. I’ve never been money driven, it’s never about it. It might be big of me to say, but I’m very glad I am not a materialist, not a money-hungry type.
    The dream and goal I have now is to get a promotion. But again it’s not really about money, it’s me wanting to be successful at what I do. I may face stage 2 and 3, but I would be okay with it. I lived my life, and will continue to do so, good or bad, no matter what life hands to me. I’ve always been content. No matter what happens, I’ve been blessed enough, and I am “rich”.
    The image of reading kid with an umbrella is so striking.

    • 🙂 You always bring a smile with your words Rommel ~ a great gift you have! The attitude you have of life is incredible, and I feel similar thoughts. I know in other universes/lives out there, I definitely am living in much more difficulty and more vulnerable than in this life…and it make me appreciate and try to do good. People, like you, who think this way tend to be more grounded and grateful, and treat and lift-up others through their lives – rich with life and friends. Cheers to a great day for you.

  19. There is a line in this evocative essay that really hit home with me ~ “The time between the youthful invincibility of blind confidence where everything will work out as dreamed, and the age of reason where experience brings an understanding that it’s alright if it doesn’t.”

    The title, The Thin Gauze of Doubt, turned over in my mind again and again. How the material itself is porous and able to breathe, but over time will evolve to keep inside all that it is meant to keep from escaping. I truly wish for everyone to allow that desire buried deep within to escape through that thin gauze of doubt and make its way into the universe.

    You are a perfect example, Randall, of how much difference one can make in the pursuit of what tugs at their heart. Thank you once again for sharing your gift and inspiring us all.

    • The line you mention is one of my favorite thoughts ~ and was actually the one I built this post around. There is so much doubt we create, the gauze we create, and it is always intriguing to me what we never see/experience in our own “private world.” A relentless struggle as we push & pull our way through life, a glorious and special “struggle” that should also be embraced every day as well. Thank you very much Dave for this comment, one that really touched home. Wishing you and your family well.

  20. Beautiful captures and moving reflections Randall. I am thankful that you are here and not in some office somewhere leading a normal life. 💛

    • Thank you Val, I think somewhere else in my normal life I’d like to think I’ve got great people around me saying “thankful you are here and not out pursuing something else” 😂 The beauty of trying to live a good life, being good to others and experiencing the same from those around. Cheers!

  21. Stunning photos, as always. You’ve inspired me and you still do. Maybe a little too late in my life for making a change, but … I’ve played safe all my life. It was what my parents expected me to do, I think. Since I had no idea what I wanted, I was happy to do what they said. One day, I realized I was getting a little old; I wanted to do something a little different, but I discovered that I had become a different person now. Oh well…
    I enjoy reading your blog. Every piece has a little bit of my dream 😉 Thanks.

    • This is such a wonderful comment Helen, so much I feel the same. There is something great to have people around you (immediate and around the world), who not only inspire but to learn from as well. The dreams and paths we take have such great meaning and repercussions, and trying to live it with good intentions is the brilliance of the ‘normal life’ and in that sense there is nothing better. Wishing you and your family a great autumn and continued dreams…thank you!

  22. Envy and doubt; I abandoned them when I let go of fear. In their space I invited curiosity and self-belief. There is always conscious choice. Revel, Randy, in you and the now. Onward with your amazing, current life journey!

    • It is something to see what fear can do ~ the initial feeling creating all the doubt and questions, but through the process comes the answers. Brilliant Eric, and through all your lessons and wisdom, I can see a life very well lived with a lot more ahead 🙂 Wishing you continued great successes and adventures with your travels. Cheers.

  23. Randall, your photography is fantastic, and the message conveyed is beautiful. Different steps take us to different destinies, finding the one that suits our soul is the goal. Stunning presentation. Wishing you well. ~ Mia

    • Mia, thank you so much for this wonderful comments. It is the idea of the different destinies out there that keeps me in a positive/optimistic mood ~ a feeling of making the best with this life I have as I know there are better & worse places I could be, and somehow it makes the life I have here that much more beautiful. It matches your thought on “finding the one that suits our soul” so perfectly. Wishing you a great weekend and continued happiness 🙂

      • You’re very welcome Randall. Likewise, please enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a wonderful week ahead filled with much happiness. 🙂

  24. Hi Randall,

    Words fall apart and fail to describe the vibrations that your philosophy and photography can create! The wow factor keeps intensifying as we scroll down, each image speaking volumes and evoking a thousand emotions…faces convey them without a word. I loved how you have used colors to enhance the intensity of the story that illustrates the beauty of these pictures, each one better than the other.

    I am glad to note that the doubts melt before the answers and dreams fly high! This young man exemplifies that life can be as adventurous as we dream it to be if ‘the invincibility of youth’ is well pursued! Thank you for the inspiration. Stay blessed!

    • This is one of the most beautiful and inspiring comments Balroop, thank you very much! The story and photographs tended to mesh well for me while preparing this piece, so to have it come out in a manner that connected the way you described feels good. A feeling of wishing to head out on another adventure 🙂

      • Your adventures are so exotic! Wishing you all the best for the next. Have a blessed weekend dear friend. 🙂

  25. We all group such times, Randall…but then what would be life without challenges?

    Lovely pictures, especially the B&W ones.

    • Could not agree more Alok, it is the challenges and struggles that make us see the beauty of life and perhaps most important the beauty and good we have as humans within, allowing us to show our true nature. Thank you.

  26. Wonderful ideas of paths taken and left behind. I’ve been doing this for so long I don’t remember the choosing as well as the faith I developed in not knowing where my path is leading and plowing ahead. I love your photos. The brilliant colors of the two are a startling contrast to the others.

    • Isn’t that the most intriguing and incredible things about life ~ the absolute lack of understanding what the outcome of our decisions will be, but the great faith we have in making such decisions. And the importance and plowing ahead, never allowing ourselves to get too bogged down with the difficulties along the way. Thank you very much ~

  27. Images that speak and words that paint a thousand pictures…with you we travel different universes and look back at past lives we’d left behind. Only now I realise that those lives continue their different ways while I am seeking new paths.

    • There is nothing better than the learning we can gather from those who paint, write, create a life and share it with other like-minded people. Give us so much more to think about and often can enlighten a path/decision ahead. Cheers to a nice Sunday for you Mary.

      • Thanks Randy. We’ve just changed to daylight saving time so we’re yet another hour ahead. 🙂 Have a good weekend.

  28. Gorgeous portraits, whatever prompted you to do what you do was instinctive genius.

    • Thank you John, in almost each of these photos there was a drive to capture something special and perfect of the person (or scene) I saw, almost embarrassed for the privilege to be shooting such a scene…a though that meshed itself well when writing this piece. Wishing you a continued brilliance in the autumn, thank you again for the nice comment.

  29. Brilliant photos, it’s almost unfair how good they are. I particularly like the bicyclist. If you’re just figuring out B/W now I’ll be curious how you improve on that.

    As far as multiverses, it seems like one is plenty to let everyone’s reality evolve in a myriad of ways.

    • I’m with you 100% in that the universe we are in is plenty to provide us with enough to evolve in many ways ~ although it is the thought of the unlimited possibilities of a multiverse that for some reason gets me excited and somewhat relaxed in this universe. A simple thought of just do the best I can here 🙂 Thank you for the wonderful compliment, I think these shots mesh well with the words which helps…and very happy to hear you like the bicyclist, as this shot was the result of what I had hoped for (I was at this spot a day earlier when I was surprised at the beauty and saw monks walking down the path during sunrise and dreamt of finding something similar the next day. The cyclist showed up on time 🙂

  30. Outstanding images and reflections.You are living in the moment-a state many want to achieve.Stay insightful and creative always.

    • Thank you Sidran, not quite sure how I got on the path I am on now, but hope to sustain the positive momentum and creative thoughts flowing. Life always has a way of tossing us challenges, so wish you the best as well 🙂

  31. Soul-stirring words and images, Randall. I know this all too well. I’m just emerging from the Thin Gauze of Doubt stage, merging into the flow of something so much more profound than the ego. Bon voyage to you in the radiant multiverse.

    • I think our paths are probably quite similar in many ways Julie ~ a bit of the tensions of the pull of travel, the views from the outsides on pieces of society we bounce between and then the unknown beauty of the path ahead just coming into focus. So much out there and so many perspectives to ponder 🙂 Thank you Julie, wish you continued adventures ahead.

  32. A fabulous post as always Randall. The photographs are superb. Your divergence into black and white is definitely paying off nicely and going so well with your writing. A very enjoyable Saturday morning read. Excellent stuff.

    • Thank you Adrian, the move into B&W is a conscious effort to embrace a part of photography I’ve long admired as well of been intimated with ~ a different path I’ve walked only a few times. The differences in processing being the difficulty/skepticism I’ve had with B&W, with less experience dealing with its tonality and contrast. I enjoy B&W, and so fitting at times.

  33. Great post and photos, Randall. I enjoyed the photos, especially the second-to-last one, and I thought your message was really good. When one is young and has a chance to embrace a challenge and experience more in life, just take it.

    • The second to last shot was one I had dreamed about for more than a decade…hiking up Mt. Ellinor at 2am in the dark, peaceful and beautiful, to capture a sunrise on her summit. A photograph with a story that interlaced with my thoughts while writing, embrace life and find such experiences. Enjoy your Sunday ~ just arrived back in HK today.

      • Wow, that is dedication. It was certainly well worth it. Cool, welcome back. So you just went back to the US for a holiday.

      • It was too much fun, actually. Early mornings can be amazing when getting out ~ I was back in the States for both work and then a bit of holiday as well.

      • I wish I could have that discipline to get up so early.
        That’s good; I look forward to more great Asia photo-essays from you.

      • I think once you’ve done it once, then you figure out an early morning can add so much to a day (and it makes getting to bed earlier that night feel so good!). Cheers 🙂

      • I should try that sometime then, ha.

  34. Another insightful piece about the philosophies of life, Randy. I enjoyed reading it from start to finish, pondering along the way. What caught my attention was the three stages of life. It is true as life goes on that we get to experience more, and the more we experience the more far sighted we get – the more we think about our future and actually plan for it. We don’t have to, you know. But the more we experience the more we realise that it is always about the journey and never about reaching that next milestone no matter how sweet that feels (as cheesy as it sounds). The end of the milestone or dream can last a few seconds, but it is the memories that will linger.

    “desiring something very different, something unknown…the adrenalin of this uncertainly”. I’m past that point in my life where I have finished school and university, and that youthful invincibility is starting to fade. But these days something within me has been telling me to go out. So I have, and each time I set foot out my door to hike around some place new be it a path through a neck of woods or naughtily wading through a field canola, that feeling of invincibility starts burning once again. I’m starting to think this feeling and adrenalin rush is something that we can create ourselves if we allow ourselves to make time for it. Sure, we all have priorities and realities to face but we all deserve some down time, even if it’s just once a week or once a month. Maybe you still feel it too, what with going back and forth between Asia and back to where it all began 😉

    As for your photography, I am very impressed as usual. Sharp, lots of clarity and always evoking positivity through your shots. Take care 🙂

    • Like you have mentioned, I really do think “the more we experience the more we realise…” and experiences in life are what we should concern ourselves with,the journey, as I think we tend to focus on those around us much more and without effort we end up ‘doing good’ and it becomes a great habit. With all the chaos that follows after our walls of invincibility crumbles, it is our experiences and the wisdom we gather that gets us through.

      I like the idea thought you have with getting out and feeling the youthful invincibility, that adrenaline of life that still keeps us young. Keeps life interesting ~ always learning, always pursuing. One thing I am very grateful for are my two lives, one in Asia and one in the Pacific Northwest of the USA…bouncing back and forth gives me time to reconcile experiences and keeps things exciting. Cheers Mabel to a continue path of adrenaline and experiences 🙂 Enjoy the day!

      • Keep bouncing along, Randy. Never too old to travel and learn, and you do live two very interesting worlds there. You must balance it all very well… Take care 🙂

  35. R. I always hear your heart speaking.
    In your images.
    In your words.
    Honesty. Yes, Sir…always be honest.
    Doubts? Yes, Sir…without a doubt!
    These images, though, are telling…
    Your life-heart has spoken.
    See you at the rodeo………

    • I like the concept you mention, “your life-heart has spoken…” it matches what I wanted to achieve with this piece. The word and photos both with stories and both supporting the other. Embrace the honesty and doubt of life, and things will generally turnout well in the end. Thank you, Raye, and see you at the rodeo ~ Let’er Buck!

  36. You write so beautifully. Each sentence was thought-provoking. The photographs and the content also connected so well emotionally. Truly a great read with an impactful message!

    • Thank you, Sheth. From the beginning thought I had in putting the story together, there seemed to a logical progression to the end which is rare for me when I write. I tend to grab a tangent and shift, sometimes wildly, from my initial plan. To hear you say how well you were able to connect with it makes me think you too share the same ideas. Cheers to a great week ahead.

      • That’s true. The way I interpret it, you have to stick to your gut feeling. Follow your intuition. Ultimately, little else will make you happier. But, the way you have recounted the story and expressed it is magical.
        Hope you have a great week ahead, as well!

  37. Adventure, travel.. Not letting the doubt of uncertainty get in the way! I love how you pair the words with the amazing images 🙂

    • Thank you Christy, sometimes I think it is doubt and uncertainty that gets us moving to find adventures and experiences 🙂

  38. There is always something about your posts, that seems and feels like a complex mixture, conjuring up images and impressions, reality and dream, the past and the future, both mustering the present, shreds of nostalgia… and the ideas, structuring, or restructuring things in a crisp way, both familiar and arresting, food for thought, to say the least. I enjoyed reading and rereading, watching the elegant photos, and I especially liked the reference to Thoreau’s Walden, having to “lose” before we can really find, earn or “get” anything whatsoever, but mostly ourselves. Yes, we always wonder if things that can be are somehow like hanging in midair, maybe waiting for us to make decisions, choices, more or less conscious changes, like in a split second or so, only to step into a different dimension, be it a new way of seeing or feeling, a new level of consciousness, maybe. Thank you for this manifold post, Dalo, wishing you a beautiful October.

    • One thing I love about photographs, is the ability they have to take the viewer to another realm ~ into both a dream and reality as you say. Add to this the ability of words to do the same but in a different manner, and there is a complex medium to create something a bit different when they are combined. I like the way you view this post Nicole, thank you very much ~ you do it in a way I would hope it to be seen. At times I think it is almost impossible to explain different levels of consciousness / dimensions…and you do it well with your words. Also with your poetry. Getting lost before we can find ourselves is one of the gifts life gives (and keeps giving!). October is off to a great start, wishing you well too! Take care.

    • 🙂 Yes, it is quite the feeling when we come to understand the inevitability of invincibility. Thank you ~

  39. Absolutely wonderful, dear Dalo… The photographs stand out… your posts always do!. 🙂
    Have a wonderful weekend. Love & best wishes. Aquileana 😀

  40. I love your posts because I learn something every time I read them and I leave thinking about more than when I come to them. I love the mystery and universality woven together here. There’s such depth in your images and words. And the idea of adventure… I think all of us travelers find it irresistible and inspiring, maybe a little dangerous too. I think adventure forces us realize we are living life at every moment, which is beautiful. Thank you Randall.

    • Coming from you Kelly, this is a great compliment and makes my day ~ and I agree with the thought of the coming together of mystery and universality with the adventures in life. Once tasted, something continues to draw us forth and the danger that comes with the collection of these new experiences not only inspires but the added adrenalin allows us see all pieces of life as an adventure. It is a different way to view life ~ wishing you many more great travels and adventures, thank you very much.

  41. Pingback: Inspired by another blogger… | The Project: Me by Judy

  42. I too love your posts Randall. Your thoughts, experiences and beautiful images .. I smiled when I scrolled through your photos. They are so enveloping. Your words are a journey

    • Thank you Julie ~ connecting with the world via photography seems to open up new windows in terms of interacting with it as well. Looking at things from a different perspective perhaps. Wishing you a great week ahead.

  43. Oh Randall, you did it again. A superb post. As always. Excellent captures framing your soulseeking words.
    Fortune favours the brave! The choices we make determine the paths we follow.
    When did you visit Myanmar?
    Thank you for a great read.

    • Thank you Dina, my most recent visit to Myanmar was early in the summer for work ~ it is such an amazing place. “Fortune favors the brave!” I don’t think I ever understood this phrase until my mid-20s when almost forced to make something happen with work/life and discovering there were quite a few opportunities out there if will to accept just a bit more risk 🙂 Wishing you well, and enjoy your day.

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