This is the end of the first phase of The Human, Earth Project

In the past year, it’s grown from a simple idea to a complex network of people all over the planet. I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has made it possible – those who contributed their time, money or energy, and those who liked it and shared it with their friends.

There are hundreds of people who have brought the project to this point, and three without whom it would have been completely impossible.

The first is my brother Nick, who by chance was staying at my home in Canada when the idea for the project fully crystallised last November, and has been absolutely crucial to its development ever since. While I dream of new directions to take the project, and how best to share it online (in over a dozen languages!), it’s Nick that’s chipping away behind the scenes to make it all a reality, and patiently enduring my endless questions.

My friend Tracey has also been incredibly supportive. It was at Tracey’s home, and with her help, that I first assembled a collection of my portraits last September. The first phase of the project came full circle in these past two weeks, when Tracey again gave me a home base to work from here in southern California. She’s the one who reminds me to eat and sleep and sit up straight when I get buried too deep in preparations.

My father Keith has also been of invaluable assistance – not only in the past year, but my entire travelling life – when I find myself stranded on the far side of the world without the necessary paperwork. It happens more often than I’d like to admit and, in a pinch, I’m incredibly grateful every time Dad picks up the phone and sets the wheels turning in the right direction.

I’m writing this from the departure lounge at LAX, and have fifteen minutes before I go through the gate to whatever lies beyond. I’ll leave you with a few words I wrote in 2009, on my first journey through Asia…

If poetry

Could be condensed

So that it was no longer a liquid or a gas

But solid matter

So that you could reach out

And touch it with your hand…

If poetry

Could be taken

From the realm of ideas

And made real…

If poetry

Could be truly felt

Not only with the mind

But with the senses…

If poetry

Could be seen

Could be heard

Could be smelt

Could be tasted

Could be touched…

If poetry

Was a place

Where one could go:

A place that contained

All the love

All the pain

All the beauty

All the poverty

All the joy

All the madness

All the mystery

All the cruelty

All the faith

All the riches

All the life

And all the death

That was ever set down on paper, then surely

The only name for such a place would be


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