As we age and build our tower to the sky and what we believe is the “hereafter” and paradise we may stumble in our steps and sometimes within those stumbles and lessons is our final lesson. On April 17, 2015 like a blaze of wildfire as broad and warming as that of his spirit the soul of Adam Cathcarter was set free from his mortal body and given it’s ascension and clearance to fly among us and watch our antics on earth from the good seats.
To those who knew and cherished Adam, he will always be the undisputed consummate documentarian and raw archivist of the independent fragile underbelly of the Farmageddon Records, Muddy Roots Music Festival, the Spring Weekender among several others. With his constant companion Kara at his side at each waking moment – Adam shared himself equally with all who had the distinct pleasure of being a part of his “inner circle”. Within that circle flourished a bounty of love, mentorship, artistic endeavor, ability and song. . .to those fortunate enough to be near to Adam, they found themselves showered completely in his adorning love and friendship.
I first met Adam as a colleague in Montana, in the summer of 2013 beneath the sweltering daytime sun and the cool retreat of the nearby mountains at night. I like to think that image of Adam is what embodies him in absence from this day. Adam’s friendship and intensely bright spirit and soul were only ever outshined by that of our celestial fiery sun. In his presence, you couldn’t help but smile, feel warmth cascading inside your body and let the positivity produced lead you on in your travels and light the uncertainties ahead. In the coolness of evening, Adam is and always will be that tremendous radiant thermal energy of the granite and millstone walls of that canyon passage way under the light of the moon. Through the day the heavyweight stone faces absorbing the radiant energy and heat and in the evening when things are darkest and direction is uncertain the residual light of the moon and the heat of the rocks as our anchor is what distinguishes him.
As a fellow photographer, I’ve always maintained that in our mortal absence from earth – our epitaph in the 21 Century will be written not on stone, but rather in the information on Google. If this is the present day measure of a man in his dedication to his craft, people and commitment to passion; the Adam was most certainly a grass roots professional at it’s truest core. Although we may not share the same vision through the lens; we interpret what we see in different color, size and variance among them – Adam was always consistent and try as I might to duplicate his simplicity in imagery I fell short. Too many photographers and documentarians consume themselves with being the next Annie Liebowicz or Picasso – Adam was simply interested in telling the story of the event and documenting it for the history books.
Mourning is a heavy burden at the best of times and it is never the easiest demon to take control over; it is within music we find the solace and healing strength of music, music is what has bound people through the generations and continues to this day. With the absence of Adam in our day to day routine we must realize that though we will miss him and never forget his ambitious spirit we must carry on and continue to do what he celebrated most closely to his heart. We must never regret the days we share together on earth and waste them without purpose as this is not what Adam was about – live each day as though tomorrow never comes. When you rest your weary head at the end of your day; know that what you’ve delivered will help those around you prosper and enjoy good fortune.
Among us as the documentarian, it’s often hard to switch off and to this end I am all too familiar – I think my adopted loving brother Geoff Firebaugh said it best on social media in the following text:
It’s sad, but an amazing testimony to the people I call friends. My ‘adopted family’ as it were. The outpouring of sadness over the passing of Adam is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. I got on here today to find that Adam’s friend request was one that was just lost in the shuffle. It’s amazing that this cobbled together ragtag bunch of miscreants, malcontents, and ne’er do wells have all found each other in the vast sea of banality that is modern society. And though losing one of our own is sad, seeing dozens upon dozens of people express grief, support, and sympathy, is touching, and inspiring itself. I love all of my music family, and I take solace that even in our grief, the gold light shines through.
This is where it ends, unexpectedly. . .lovingly and always remembered.
Never be afraid to tell the person enjoying the music to your left and right that you love them – even a stranger needs to feel love and be loved.
Without this I never would have met you Adam, rest well
Your work here is done and shall live on in your absence,
till we meet again.