You know, I was thinking just a second ago as I laid in the dark trying to sleep for the fifth time in a row at 3:33 am and this thought occurred to me, a persistent thought, the kind of thought that just demands to be written down.
The thought was something like this:
I was looking at pictures on Instagram of people having fun in calaveras makeup for Dia de Los Muertos in Mexico City and I realized that they looked perfect and I wished I could somehow exist in that kind of persistent reality of perfectness...
...and then I thought about how I took a bunch of the same sort of "perfect pictures" of people having fun with each other, and me having fun with them.
Thinking back on that time now I notice how my time in Vietnam is actually shrouded in this concept of imperfectness.
Then, my brain being the complicated cross-juxtaposition thing that it is, I realized that those pictures of happy people in skeleton makeup having fun are probably going to look back at the festival that they spent in zombie makeup and think about how imperfect that part of there lives was too.
For one reason or another all those people in calaveras make-up are going to find some reason to dwell on as to why that night wasn't perfect. Maybe so and so didn't do this, or I didn't make out with that girl I wanted to, or some guy grabbed my ass and I got offended, or I was the only dude without zombie make-up on so I felt left out and hung out in a corner all night long forsaken by all my friends wearing fake blood.
But the thing is I don't know about any of that emotional baggage/stuff/whatever underlying drama that is probably slightly troubling each of those individual people in the moment that they were photographed. Because I don't know those people, I don't even know their names, they're just faces on someone's Instagram account.
But perhaps that's what draws me to pictures and Instagram in the first place, the fact that once all is said and done, and the image is taken, all of the rest of everything fades into the background, and the image can stand on its own: a representation of the moment...without all the 'stuff' that came along with it.
And somebody somewhere is probably looking at my pictures from Vietnam, and they don't know anything about the emotional baggage/stuff/whatever that happened.
All they see are breath-taking pictures of a moment in time that happened, and I happened to be there with a camera, and now it's going to exist forever, without all of the emotional baggage/stuff/whatever.