I’ve known for years about murdered photojournalist Dan Eldon’s story and his journals, but never really explored who he was or even saw anything beyond a few reproductions of his art journal pages. Only 22 years old, he was killed in an uprising in Somalia in 1993. His mother Kathleen M. Eldon, published a book of his journals in 1997 called “The Journey is the Destination.” The foreward by his mom is at this link as a PDF.
So, the stage is set. Imagine my delight to find a pristine copy of the “The Journey is the Destination” at the Malaga Cove Used Book Sale today. It was $5 and I’ve been mesmerized by it since. A little Internet research quickly brought me up to speed on who he was and how his life and work has continued to make a difference in the world.
Next I discovered that there is a permanent exhibition of Dan Eldon's journals at the Candela/Decker gallery in Manhattan as reported by The New York Times. Then I discovered that in 2011 a film is supposed to be released called "The Journey is the Destination" and will star Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame. Dan Eldon's sister Amy Eldon also created a documentary about war correspondents called "Dying to Tell the Story" which ran on TBS in 1998, but it isn’t available on Netflix though it is available to purchase at other sites. Have any of you seen this documentary?
There is also a traveling exhibition of his journals and it was at Santa Monica College last spring. Bummer! But, Eldon wasn’t on my radar screen then. Don’t you just love how the Universe works sometimes? You vaguely know about someone or something. You tuck it into your brain somewhere, and when the time is right, more information presents itself. That's the way it was for me in the late 1970s when I became deeply interested in the Trappist monk Thomas Merton but didn't pursue it. Then I received a copy of "The Seven Storey Mountain" in a new year's eve dice game, believe it or not, and a whole new world opened up to me. My Master's thesis was "Dialogues With Thomas Merton," and I once made a pilgrimage to all his New York haunts when I was with students at Columbia University. I even got permission to use Merton files in the Columbia archives.
I'm looking forward to learning about the legacy that Dan Eldon has left us all.