Riding the Crescent from Atlanta to Washington earlier this week was like becoming the narrator of an epic novel. As I watched farms and houses and backyards littered with the debris of life spin by completely out of reach, I felt this great sense of comfort and distance, as if I were encased in a moving parallel universe. I was free to observe in complete security with no questioning glances from my subjects and no indictments of my motives (which are generally pure).
I have always been fascinated by the imagined lives of strangers, which is one reason I enjoy street photography so much. Everyone is anonymous, so the possibilities are unlimited. Princes or paupers, I can't know, till we meet.
In part, I imagine the afterlife to be a place where I can spend eternity living as characters in my favorite novels. Being heaven, all things are possible, and I will be able to experience the action of the books, complete with real fear and real loss, but the end will be a tale of happily ever after - after all, I'm in heaven.