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Lonely. Is a strange word I use very often. Today was one such day I’d usually call lonely, sitting at the bar alone with a drink and not a smile come by, not a phone call, no message either – neither from a friend nor the universe. There was no poem to memorize either. And then there stared out a face from darkness. Darkness with a handful streaks of light strewn over it, illuminating the face I saw. Lonely am I with my imagination always running wild? Lonely how when there’s a beautiful person sharing his life’s story with me – I was only not listening.
This thought is a nightmare – is lonely a choice, my choice?
And then I open my ears and my mind, stories creep in, voices enter, conversations sprout and I am lonely no more. Remi. What rush of passion must you have felt all your life for the work you did. What moments of pure joy you must have had when you found yourself in those moments of danger – to realize that you were living your dream. You were a soldier fighting your battle with your strongest weapon – your lens. What moments of exhilaration must your nerves have felt to their last dendrites when your pictures brought an effect that bettered human condition in a way. And the beauty of ordinariness you relished, little crumbs not many noticed – that croissant in your favourite coffee or that walk along the Seine early one morning or an interesting clerk at an embassy or the innocent jokes some young one in your family uttered that made you laugh hard.
How beautiful is your company Remi. How so wonderful to watch you talk to me in my head. I know I need to go home but how I wish I could sit here, have drink after drink and listen to the wonderful story of your life.
Remi Ochlik died in Homs, Syria during heavy shelling at a makeshift media centre on 22 February, 2012.