"We are a Pleistocene people, born sometime during the last 600,000 years, an ice epoch; born of hunters, gatherers, warriors, and explorers. This place, Mongolia, was the home of the wildest, the farthest-roaming tribes, nomads whose restlessness was written in every lineament and whose undiluted, primal DNA still sparks and twines memories of dispersion in our collective unconscious.

"Travelers of a hundred ages, nomads are a here-and-now people, explorers in the truest sense of the word. They start to go somewhere, to do something. And sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. They forget or don't care or something else of more interest turns up, and that new something is always primary. And just like that, everything changes. They see what they want and that's all they want now, and so they go straight for it, no detour necessary; the shortest distance between two points, between here and there, is the direction to go.

"Nomad life is so unconditional. It all depends on the moment. It fits me. It seems only rational. Logical. The way of the universe, the way of poetry and the loony ones. The way of monks, nomads, outlaws; I love them — ineffable and evanescent, they are my brothers.

"Stand on a high place and howl. Rip out your heart when you must. Never accept things as they are. We are not and should never become law-abiding citizens. Our primary duty is to be freedom fighters.

"Or as Henry Miller — our gloriously subversive father — declared, doing his best to laugh the puritans into extinction: 'I was a born anarchist [believing] that my sense of freedom was particularly personal that the very idea of discipline was abhorrent . . . I was a rebel and an outlaw, a spiritual freak.'

"Thank you, Master Miller. For that is the human imperative. The evolutionary imperative. Imperfection. To be human is to at every moment break some law, bend some rule — legal, spiritual, scientific, philosophical, creative. To run full and fast for as long as we can. To push the envelope. Because that's what is right and just and brilliant and beautiful and intoxicating. Because that is life-affirming. Because that is our job. Our sacred duty. The hope of humanity."