Zankie fever has gripped fans of all stripes, so make sure to jump over to The Backlot if you don’t know what I’m talking about!
We’ve got a terrific guest blogger coming soon on WP.com, so stay tuned.
I’ll be cross-posting here, but I’ll be working over there to finish up some of the posts I had wanted to do while visiting.
Meantime, my Who? and Next sections have been updated. Check them out.
- Next. In this new tab, “What’s Next?”, you can keep track of what’s coming up for me in the days and months ahead. I’ll be announcing new gigs, book deals, an Ireland blog and articles, and an ARTvision-7 theme - all very soon.
- New clips. This is now broken down into published articles, blog posts of note and an image gallery. More coming soon.
- Updated bio. About once a quarter I update the “Who?” section, and there’s some new stuff in there, so make sure to take a look.
More updates to follow I’m sure. As always, thanks for visiting! - WP
(ATLANTA - 8 June 2011) :: Before February 2010, I had little knowledge of the Presbyterian way of worship. I was basically *this side of atheist, with a generous, inquisitive spirituality but a combative, skeptical streak that usually kept me away from churches altogether.
Along came Jason. We met early last year on Compatible Partners, and since then, we’ve transitioned well into a couple; he’s helped awaken me to the generosity and kindness that can dwell in the halls and sanctuaries of our nation’s churches.
Covenant Presbyterian in Augusta, Ga., is an able example of that compassion. Jason, the church’s Director of Music and Organist for the past eight years, is active in the community as a singer, concertmaster, performer - and, at first, I found the idea of coming together with him daunting given how successful and established he was in his town.
I also wondered: “How could this church understand our relationship? How would they accept me, me with him, us together?”
I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. For it was the church’s people - Diane and Joe, Kaye, Jennifer, Pastor Rob, Karla, Beverly, and so many others - who welcomed me and folded us in as part of the family, giving us time and space for our relationship to blossom into what it is today. They allowed for and supported a reimaging of who Jason is as a partnered person, giving him a chance to realize his dream of finding an able boyfriend. I will always be deeply grateful for the gracious and open treatment they afforded us.
While Jason and I were enjoying Covenant’s people and environs - including its stunning, sultry-sound sanctuary (pictured) - change was afoot at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s national level. The question: whether or not to ordain openly gay men and women. Very often change is accompanied by lots of chaos, dissent and frustration - which was ever-present in the regional discussions on the topic.
‘You’re going to be late for lunch today’
Pastor Rob Watkins, leader of Covenant’s congregation, was party to these meetings - and had a lot to say one Sunday after suffering through some of those meetings with people of strident, divergent opinions.
Following that meeting, Pastor Rob delivered a rousing sermon on his frustration with the Presbyterian Church’s position and posturing on the subject of ordination. Some excerpts from the sermon:
“You can walk down the street and find churches that are ripping each other to shreds, because they have taken on the power of God, and decided who is right and who is wrong. I get annoyed when I go to Presbytery meetings. And I confess I am a terrible Presbyterian. Why? Because I can’t help but get annoyed. Who are we to speak for God? God gave us the work to do. You preach. You teach. And you engage in love. You engage in compassion. Anything else is extraneous. Anything else. What does that mean? That means that yesterday’s Presbyterian meeting for about five minutes, we were engaged in the work of God. The rest of the time we were wasting our time and wasting the time of every human being who was sitting there, because we were engaged in speaking for God. We had no right to do that. None. Zero.
God is in the midst of the chaos that roils all around us all of the time. God firmly plants himself in the corner of anyone who has need of him. In other words, the power of God is eternally present behind compassion. Remember that the apostle John wrote, “God is love,” but he wasn’t simply thinking of a Hallmark card. He was thinking in real, human terms. God is love, ironically, which means you find him in the presence of human love.
I apologize for anything I have said that makes you feel like I am not ready to be your pastor anymore. That was one thing I heard at the Presbytery meeting, that just about made me stand on my head … if we are so scared that someone is going to walk out the back door because we are going to act in compassion, then we are not who we ought to be. If they can’t handle compassion and they want to leave, bye. Because that’s who we are. That’s what we are. That’s how we are. We say it so glibly, “God so loved the world, that God gave his only son, and whoever believes it may not perish and have eternal life,” but then turn right around and smack somebody in the face. How can we do that?
Look at the spectrum that is sitting here in this room. Look at the spectrum that gathered here on Thursday for a funeral. Look at the spectrum that gathers as soon as you set foot outside these doors. Look at the spectrum that is gathered at McDonald’s after church. Look at the spectrum that is driving past you on the wall. Look at the colors that God paints with. Look at the shades that God paints with. And it’s all art, all of it. Who are we to divide ourselves up? It’s as if the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre looks over at the Monets and says, “You’re garbage.”
You don’t do that. They are masterpieces, all of them. And you know what? I would argue that Leonardo de Vinci would look at Eden’s first scribble with a crayon and say, “That’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my whole life.” Why? Because Leonardo knew, knew what it was to have God’s creative will coursing through his bones. And when he sees a child pick up a Crayon and draw, he sees affirmation of that creative will.
Yes, you are going to be late for lunch today. Wait with me. You need to be late for lunch today. Because we are not celebrating the gift of a child with a Crayon, we are dividing each other up.Do I mean right here, specifically in this congregation? God I hope not. But I know all you have to do is step foot outside the door, and you are right in the midst of it. You are right in the midst of it.
I had my eyes opened 18 years ago to what love really means. I was working with a couple, one of whom was dying and it was a horrible death. It was a horrible, horrible death. And the spouse was there every day. Told their job, ‘I can’t come. I won’t come. I have to be here.’ And every day they started the day with a bath, because the dying could not wash themselves. And so with tenderness and mercy and care, the other bathed their spouse every morning. As things got worse, the dying couldn’t even lift a fork to feed themselves. So spouse stayed there and fed them every meal. Made sure they got every drop of water that they needed. You would think that they would have sat and cried all day long and wept, and been in misery and just been awful all day long, but they weren’t. They laughed. They smiled. Their love only deepened as they cared for each other. The one who was dying said, ‘Take my credit card. Go max it out. I am not going to be here to pay the bill. (laughter)
“‘Go buy whatever you want. I have worked hard to get a $20,000 credit limit. Go max it.’ John and Rocky taught me about love. Yeah. That’s right. Two men. In a committed, loving relationship that the State of North Carolina, could not, would not and did not recognize as marriage. They were more married than half of the heterosexual people I worked with in that church. Would you have cared as John cared for Rocky, as he died? That’s the question to ask yourself and I hope that you can say, Yes. And who then are we to say to John and Rocky your love isn’t real? Your love is a lie. Your love is sinful. When I saw as a pastor who had real struggles and real issues, that is what Christ requires, was right there… to bathe a dying body every single morning. To feed a dying man every single meal. To make sure that there was water to drink every single time he was thirsty. To make him laugh when it hurt to breathe… who are we to say that isn’t real? That isn’t right? Have you ever been face to face with love so powerful? And that’s the problem. We won’t go face to face. We won’t meet face to face. We will keep it out there in the spacious unknown where we can talk in philosophical terms without putting human beings before us. I am begging you, put human beings before you, before you say anything.
As I said, you are going to be late for lunch. Bear with me. This is too important. Put human beings first. I wasn’t expecting it until I sat through a Presbytery meeting yesterday. We cannot keep ignoring that anything that happens in our world involves human beings. Those are real people. They live. They breathe. They see. They ache. They hurt. They cry. They laugh. They dream.”
Pastor Rob’s sermon did not go unheeded - and the news from the national organization was good. Last month marked a milestone for the Presbyterian church - from the article in The Huffington Post:
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) passed a historic measure Tuesday evening allowing openly gay men and women in same-sex relationships to be ordained as clergy.
The move reflects a monumental shift in the 2.8 million-member church, which, along with other mainline Protestant denominations, has had increasingly contentious debates and struggles over issues pertaining to gay and lesbian members and clergy. A majority of the church's regional bodies, or presbyteries, defeated a similar measure to allow gay clergy two years ago.
Because Pastor Rob, Covenant’s members, et. al., weren’t only championing Jason and me - they were championing all of us. Spurring greater understanding, provoking thought, expressing non-violent dissent, and accepting the “all that is” in the universe with which I’m so fascinated. Theology, philosophy and social progress are not obscured by religion; in great measure, they are enhanced by it.
Embracing the unknown
Just as Joyce said to me recently: “God knows what’s right.” However you conceive Him or Her to be, that particular power has been proven to be working, and working well, for everyone - no exceptions - in the “spacious unknown.”
Here’s a clip from HRC that shows Bruce Reyes-Chow acknowledging the historic change:
Faced with an emotional summer of transition and new beginnings, Jason will be departing Covenant in August to move to Atlanta and start school. Although excited by our co-habitation, my heart is heavy that we will be visiting Covenant less in the future, having to say so long (but definitely not good-bye) to so many great, gifted people. We have the entire family at Covenant - as well as our friends and family - to thank for their unwavering support of us. It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and, I would imagine, so will Jason.
So, Triscuit will finally have her Jason close by, for many puppy kisses. And from now on, when asked, I’ll always opt for the late lunch.
# # #
I just took over the “Project Idol” column for ProjectQ Atlanta - look for lots of dish about some of the year’s best singers, and the lameness (so far) of the judging panel.
This month’s header, “Low Shelter,” comes from a scene outside Brevard, N.C., when I was on my way to contesting a speeding ticket that Jason and I got while looking for Owenby Farms. This image will be for sale on RedBubble for the same price as the ticket - $180.
Look for more updates about ARTvision Live and another round of sales. - WP
Sliding our finger across a touchscreen has fused technology with a singular emotional experience that is, even with all its success, still in its infancy. My friends and I have gone down an iPhone or iPad rabbit hole after buying these cool, obsessive products, completely transfixed by the UI (user interface). We fingerslide our way to new apps, new connections and a new way of computing and thinking.
But have you noticed that our relationship with touchscreens - the iPhone, iPad, Droid and others - have begun to infiltrate the way marketers are selling their products? To wit: ads that take the personal-device experience and mesh it with other products, as with this Land Rover 4 ad:
Not convinced? How about this snippet for Lawyers.com, in which an actor is enlightened with what looks to be a 7-year-old Dell laptop that can somehow expand and reduce its touchscreen images:
These ads are more than a fad. They are emblematic of a cultural shift away from the one-dimensional, boring, top-down, “this is what you want to buy” strategy to getting in the head of a hyper-active user who is in total control of their surroundings.
Know of any others ads? Comment here or on the Facebook comment thread! I’ll update as all of you put in your ideas.
• In March, watch for the launch of WillofAtlanta.com - a viewer- and fan-derived site that profiles and collects some of the best sights, sounds, eats and attractions that Atlanta has to offer.
• I am co-curator of my 20th reunion’s Alumni Art Exhibition at Skidmore College. We’re accepting submissions now so if you have one please let me know ASAP.
• A number of projects are coming down the pike for The Sunday Paper, including a profile of Affairs to Remember and its green initiatives; and a story about race in the barber chair.
• Continuing development of “EIQ: Everyman’s Guide to Developing Emotional Fortitude” - working on finding an agent, publicist, publisher and, ultimately, readers!
• Relaunch of the Stone Four Media Web site and a new location for Stone Four Studios, both coming very soon.
• More captures and posts here at wp.com. Now that ARTvision has concluded I have more time for posting.
• Updated wp.com pages: reel, who? and tunes.
My great thanks to all ARTvision buyers, volunteers and artists - all of which came together in celebration of the arts to support Positive Impact.
(New header capture: “Answered.” purchased by Wayne Sun; thumbnail: “Absurd Alphabet” by Sean Mansfield, both in honor of ARTvision-4.)
I took ill on Thursday - and I don’t mean a sniffles, 24-hour-thing sick. I mean, it was the start of something awful... flu, possibly swine flu, and then it blew up on me this weekend - to the point that I called my doctor today, after hours, to see what to do.
I was amazed to find that he agreed to see me on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the office, saving me from four hours (or more) of ER waiting. So, we re-diagnosed everything and I went on my way. I was so grateful I Yelped about it.
That kind visit was after Kim came to the house and brought me fruit, and before the pharmacist at CVS, Ashley, took my order and filled it quickly - being just as friendly and nice and she could be. The previous pharmacist, Jamie, was noticeably absent after having her first child - and I found out that she had relocated closer to home in Buckhead.
So my point being: prayers are sometimes answered without them ever being spoken. And it’s in those moments that we see the greatness of people around us.
Photo: “Answered.” by WP
Aside from needing (and getting) regular exercise to work off the ultra-rich, amazingly tasty French cuisine, one must also pass through what’s called a “lock” when one travels down a canal or other body where the water level changes. I guess being a city boy I never had a need to know that.
This month’s header capture, “Emergence,” could only have come to pass because of these canal locks. The guy in the picture was working his boat with this two other buddies, rising up as the lock sloshed and churned full with murky water. He had his hands resting on the side of the lock and was waiting for the boat to reach the required level to move on.
I grabbed my camera and shot their entry into the lock, which turned out to be a very interesting group of pictures to say the least. Then... I went for a run.
# # #
The first, the new Star Trek prequel, has already been greenlit for a second in the series -- proving that Paramount has enough faith in the buzz of J.J. Abrams’ forthcoming juggernaut that they’d approve a sequel before the receipts are in for this next installment (which is really a complete re-imaging of the entire brand).
You’ll forgive my excitement:
Some of the TNG-based Trek movies won me over - most notably, the dark and high-minded “First Contact” - so I’m excited for this new beginning, too.
In other sequel news, there’s the follow-up in the works to the remarkably long and equally funny Sex and the City feature film, which is reportedly on the fasttrack... which would be a surprise given how long it took for the first one to get made. (Kim Cattrall may want to make another ice skating movie beforehand.)
We could use healthy doses of comedy, action, sex and human understanding that both films franchises bring to the table.
# # #
Check back over the weekend!
That thread from “A Tale of Two Cities” felt pretty spot-on during the few days Brandon and I were there for the Presidential changeover. It was the “best of times” the night before the actual event, where we sat in DuPont Circle witnessing Kate Clinton conduct a “saging” of the White House - where she hired a shaman to do her ritual to cleanse the nation’s First Building from the muck that was in there for the past eight years. The place was overrun with metaphysical hippies burning bunches of sage, with the pungent waft of sooty smoke filling the air.
It was the best of times when we celebrated with Ted and Rolando later that evening, with lots of faces, new and old, came together to cook, eat, drink and socialize and celebrate the occasion. The mink coat got passed around one too many times I think, but hey - it’s not a party without mink passing.
The actual day of inauguration got off to a great start, where we woke up early and started our trek down to the Mall. I snapped “Tuesday Best,” my favorite picture of the entire few days while I was walking behind a girl in a pink outfit, dressed to the nines and ready to see the event, holding her parents’ hands and looking back at us with ultimate curiosity. She was pretty in pink to say the least.
But that nice moment led us to the security gates outside the mall, and it became apparent quickly that we were going to get stopped in our tracks. We ended up in the midst of a security checkpoint hell that had been so badly choked with thousands of people that the conditions were inhuman. We got so squeezed next to fellow inauguration-goers that there was literally no space between us. “Any more people in here, we’ll need a lubricant,” as Rob Reiner said in Postcards from the Edge. Conditions at this check point were outrageous (one woman fainted and was taken away in a folding table masquerading as a stretcher) and the security detail behaved like they had never put the event on before.
As my Tweet from the scene explained: “inhuman, insane conditions at inauguration admittance. people mashing, fainting... gates look like Nazi Germany.” I don’t even remember how I got my arms free enough to make that Tweet in the first place.
Ted, Brandon and I got through security in about five hours - traveling literally about a half-block - only to get trapped in parade hell... not allowed to leave the perimeter of Pennsylvania Ave. As we initially crossed over, though, I shot a picture of the Capitol building through a coterie of fuzz, all of whom were looking extremely important but not doing much. All tolled, security for the parade was extreme overkill, with officers standing around trading recipes as the choked-off checkpoints reeled in desperate need of additional manpower.
Once we got through that frustrating few hours, the day made a turn for the better. The evening of inauguration we attended “Out for Equality,” the HRC event in D.C. that featured Melissa Etheridge, Rufus Rainwright, Cyndi Lauper and many more. Brandon and I parked ourselves up in the balcony, even elbowing a few huffy lesbians, in order to get some choice shots and video (to follow shortly) of the great event. Cyndi Lauper, although fighting with audio issues most of her set, was exceptional and showed the most personality. The bejeweled Rufus was good, as was Melissa - although I’m still grumbling that she didn’t perform “I Need To Wake Up,” the theme from “An Inconvenient Truth.” She missed an opportunity to frame the event with that important message, and also apparently missed the make-up desk, oy... looking uber au natural.
Bottom line? The few days in D.C. were an imperfect experience for an imperfect nation. And I’d certainly tolerate a bit of “the worst of times” in order to be part of the beginning of the best. Which is really what inauguration was about, anyway - ushering out shitty years in favor of a new hope, a new beginning and a fresh perspective. That feeling was palpable in the air, and amongst the people squeezed in next to me.
All that, and no lube.
# # #
MySpace Celebrity and Katalyst present The Presidential Pledge
Here are some new features that will expand over the next months:
- Each month I’ll find a new quote to add to the sidebar. This month, a gem about whining from Lily Tomlin.
- A new tab, “REEL” will showcase related streaming video I’ve loaded to YouTube and other sites. Everything from “Groundbreakers” to old-school stuff like the Skidmore lip sync will be at this tab.
- New Vault articles, including one from Art & Antiques and Sea Ray Living magazines.
- This month’s header capture is “Zenyard II,” the second in an ongoing series of photos from the outdoor environs of 844. The Japanese maple was turning last fall into its vibrant red and I shot it before the leaves fell. I decided to make “Zenyard” a series because we could all stand a little “moment of zen” (phrase borrowed from The Daily Show) in everyday life, right?
Make sure to check back often for ARTvision updates, new book info, N&N pictures and much more.
A big update, with new writing clips, photos and videos, coming on Feb. 1.
On the 20th annual World AIDS Day, I'm happy to announce the official launch of ARTvision's Web site... our third year of bringing together artists and buyers in the name of charity. We have a record number of donating artists this year and have already sold our first piece - with hopefully more to follow!
Positive Impact is our beneficiary. Get to know them... We embark on ARTvision's month-long fundraising drive for a reason - PI is in very real need of funds to sustain their HIV prevention programs and to help offset leasing costs and the economic downturn. A wide range of price points - from $50 to $800 - means you have lots of opportunities to help PI make a good chunk of change. (browse now)
So, an ARTvision purchase is a direct and unfettered statement of support for PI's broad-based prevention and treatment services, which are now coming from a more macro perspective, expanded from a sex-behavior theory to a total lifestyle ideology.
ARTvision is the perfect chance to lock in a last-minute tax deduction, support a great organization and receive some snazzy artwork in the process.
Watch the site this week as we load more artists. Let's make some cash! - WP
But before I get to the good stuff:
When I went to "The Google" on the InterWebs to find the actual link to the Buddhist meditation post, I found some unusual prognostications. For your amusement, here is a sampling of my Google search followed by comments:
"The Year is 2016..."
- "...President Jeb Bush is running for a third term as U.S. President."
Yeah, not so much. We've had enough Bush for 8 years.
- "...Ivan has been employed at a large Danish abattoir for 26 years."
No idea what this means. But I like it better than the previous result.
- "...and mankind has been annihilated, hunted to extinction by a century's worth of alien attacks."
Nah, Palin should probably be in retirement by then. Oops! Just a video game teaser.
- "...The workplace has evolved into the 'dynamic and wise workplace.' This has demanded that business and information professionals manage information from a myriad of sources in a myriad of formats, and consolidate it into a tapestry of intelligence."
Dig it. A "tapestry" of anything has GOT to be good.
- "...and the United States has elected its first woman as well as the first Jewish president, Susan Goldfarb."
Hmmm... maybe someday. Remember how close Lieberman was to VP? Oy.
- "...and the world is changing, perhaps permanently, for the worst. In the rapidly moving city of New York, the problem blossoms and threatens to unfold."
Seriously? I know NYC is full of wingnuts, but really...
Now that we have all of that disintegrated negativity out of the way, here's the true vision to hold. Thanks again to Gini for passing this along:
The Vision: Seeing Obama in Office
The year is 2016. We glance at the television one morning and see Obama having another of his many press conferences. He has now been in office for almost 8 years. It hasn't been perfect, but things are completely different than when he took office in January of 2009. It is almost hard to remember how lost we were in the country at that time and how the world community had lost its faith in the United States.
Now... the sense of promise and pride that has always defined the vision of America has been restored, deepened, and expanded, and we live in a world marked by collaboration, partnership, and respect--largely due to the extraordinary leadership of perhaps our greatest President.
You notice that his hair has whitened a bit and that he still has that winning smile and that take-charge/positive energy that he had when he was campaigning way back in 2008.
You remember back to how concerned you were about whether or not he would win in 2008 and you feel deeply contented that he has been safely in office for such a long time.
He and Congress have done remarkable and historic work to address and create new economic opportunities, bring into existence the whole world of green collar jobs and a whole new energy matrix for our country and the world. Fossil fuels are no longer dominating our lives and our economic system and the new and clean energy industry has been born and is viably and reliably serving and meeting our needs.
We have completely redefined national security, and halted global warming, health care is available to all for the first time ever, quality education is back at the center of our national agenda, and our schools and teachers are producing results we have always dreamed of for the next generation of leaders. Terrorism is part of history and is no longer a threat. We care for and collaborate with other nations and where people are desperate and in need, they no longer need to resort to desperate tactics because the world community is organized to hold them and help them find their place and their contribution.
In many other areas, what was previous unthinkable is now the reality of
our time. We have challenges, yes, and we also have the courage and the
resolve and the confidence in ourselves and our world to meet them. We are awake, clear, and our leadership and our nation is inspired, has integrity is trustworthy and trusted.
When you stop and think about the magnitude of the transformation, you feeldeep gratitude for the past eight years and how things have unfolded.
Pass it on.
THE CHALLENGE: Take 30 seconds right now. Close your eyes
and imagine exactly what our country will feel like with President
Obama. Imagine how good it will feel. Imagine whatever it is about
him that you desire. Imagine the pride. Imagine the diplomacy.
Imagine the peace. Imagine the wind mills and the clean cars.
Imagine the citizen groups. Imagine the earth being healed and
revitalized. Imagine being very proud of your country and its
leader. Imagine whatever it is that draws you to support Obama.
Imagine what your life will look like.
Stop worrying and start visualizing.
30 seconds. Do it several times a day. We can shift and change
the vibration of this country with positive visions just like this.
It's only 30 seconds.
-- New header capture
-- Soft launch of ARTvision 2008, with new artists, photographers and musicians
-- Some new articles from the vault
-- An excerpt form my (nearly completed) book proposal
-- A newly relaunched "Tunes" tab, including songs from me and a playlist
Watch for all that this week!
That seems to be what we're up to the past few days - both in the election and with the credit markets.
So I submit "Equilibrium" for your consideration... to help your soul know that hope is on the horizon. I submitted it to JPGmag.com in the "faith" category because we're always closer to our spiritual side in nature. Click the link to learn more.
Also, heading up wp.com for October is "Awash" - another in my Costa Rican Orchid Garden series.
This image is one of a few captures that will be featured in ARTvision 2008. More on that very soon.
Other new features this month:
- Updated Jump pages
- New navigation, including a new tab to my Twitter profile, the newest (and most addictive) social networking site
- Revised bio, including new projects
- New captures loaded to my MobileMe gallery, including the 40/70 celebration
- New vault articles
Coming soon: my first piece in Atlanta Intown on Radial Cafe and GreenPlate.
There was a nice gal seated to the left of the note, across from me, who thought I was nuts taking this picture -- but I wanted to capture it. All the Marta riders around me cocked their heads to figure out what I was doing.
In the spirit of "Postsecret," a collection of secrets from anonymous sources (thanks to Wayne and Ed for showing it to me), I've helped give Byron one last chance to reach the girl of his dreams.
This made riding Marta that day totally worth it.
I also gave the gal who tolerated me shooting this picture my info, so I hope she gets back. If so, give me a shout! Thanks to her for putting up with me.
So... Here is an example of honest and spontaneous affection that seems to have not found its recipient... So I'm putting this out there to keep his hopes alive.
# # #
Update: I did hear from my gal pal on Marta! Thanks to Marina for dropping me a line. See the comments section for more.
These mystery figurines give new meaning to the phrase, "be fruitful and multiply."
I'm surprised I didn't hear the giggles or the beer bottles clanking. My favorite is the couple humping, reminding me of all the sex I ain't having.
Forget about earning medals and serving honorably -- forget about the understanding people serving with him -- another sergeant has been discharged for being gay. So...
Pay close attention to No. 2, and how perfectly Keith captures the idiocy of "Dont Ask Don't Tell." The other two are great as well.
You are Green Lantern
|Hot-headed. You have strong |
will power and a good imagination.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...
We are an amalgam of personalities, legacies, love, hatred, ambivalence, random acts of all kinds - and yet we wake up some days thinking the entire world tilts on our axis; that everyone is against us and the sky is falling. And if you look just a little bit closer, you’ll see that’s a bunch of hooey.
Why does it matter? In the end, come judgment day - if you subscribe to such an idea - aren’t we all just gonna be part of the earth, anyway? I mean, why am I yammering on about people, the friends and family, new and old, unseen and known, who've taken the time to read, to listen, to love? Does my train of thought actually have a caboose?
Maybe. This is about knowing where love lies... about where it breathes, how we contribute to its collective, where it compounds itself and how, and when it's likely to happen again. When we turn the right stones, or seek the right fortune, there it will be. And that's for those of us lucky enough to have found love more than once, in more than one person; who are brave enough to risk the fool after getting the shaft and going great guns to find it again.
Truthfully, we're all faced with many great challenges over the term of our lifetimes. Our resiliency during these periods often help shape the way we cherish ourselves, and equally important, each other.
Jimmy Roberts, sports reporter for NBC and commenting on Andre Agassi some time ago, shared this spontaneous, eloquent gem about a person's unspoken impact:
"An old friend of mine used to say that there are people in this lifetime who leave footprints. In other words, there are these people, and we all know them, who have an impact. They aren’t necessarily the best at what they do; they might not always behave the way we wish they might, but they make an impact on all of us."
This thought is true for everyone - not just those like Andre, whom we might put on a pedestal. Consider Chris "Crusty" Haddle's fight against mucinous adenocarcinoma, which caused a dull ache he detected in his lower abdomen that felt like simple appendicitis, but turned out to be stage-two cancer that required radical surgery. He'll need six months of chemotherapy to make sure nothing has spread.
Also consider Gene Rector, who was officially diagnosed today with lymphoma, and who will start with his doctor on a treatment course that will likely include chemo *and* radiation since it has spread to his spleen.
So what's or who is at work here? None of us can point to one thing. But the remaining residue - both in emotional and metaphysical terms - is that we should always know the fingerprints that our friends, family, neighbors, strangers on the street, anyone, leave on us. They contribute to your own. They are the cherished gas in our engine, the great person we've not yet met, the random person in public with whom you've just connected somehow... on a road that would be much more boring and barren without them.
So, run to the windows, rush to the phone... tell your mother, your friend, even someone you're unsure about. Tell them their impact. Crusty and Gene have both in their own ways changed me for the better, and for that I'll always be grateful.
Being good to each other, even when it might step on your own purpose or agenda, is tantamount to a peaceful coexistence. Think about it. If we use that mission in everything we do - from the politicians we choose down to the type of milk we buy - we'll see a spontaneously different world around us.
Because someday, somehow... someone will see your "footprints" in the sand, your fingerprints on something great, and admire the decisions you made. - WP
# # #
Turn your lights off tonight at 8 p.m. for an hour and take a stand...
• A tab that will lead you to my LinkedIn profile
• A bit of a tab re-org that more suits the site
• The addition of "folio," which shows some samples of writing and photography
• Updated "captures" page
• Updated Jump pages
• More videos on YouTube
The header capture this month was made possible by Rob & Patrick, since they invited us down and CB came across our friend the salamander.
"Where my heart lies," wrote Robert Browning in his prayerful poem, "let my brain lie also." That's my wish for you to experience in the coming weeks, Gemini. It's not a wistful, ineffectual wish, either: My astrological analysis indicates that the cosmos will be conspiring to unify more than a few of your fragmented parts.
Integration is a beautiful thing.
Meantime, watch for a major update over the weekend, including:
-- An event update
-- Clickable header captures for sale
-- The launch of ARTvision 2007
-- More pictures of me (I've been getting complaints)
-- A new links page
-- More captures, including a full report on my brother's wedding
Stay tuned for more.
> New Tunes page. With iTunes reviews and a last.fm playlist, the page is a bit livelier.
> Updated Seattle page. The Seattle Pollocks are successful, multiplying and extremely photogenic.
> More YouTube clips added, with Hanson videos to follow.
"Dublin, Ireland is the most expensive international market included in the index, with subject homes selling for an average $2.1 million in U.S. dollars. Next on the list is Milan, Italy, at $1.9 million, followed by Rome and Paris at $1.7 million (all in U.S. dollars). Bogotá, Colombia, ranks as the most affordable international market, at $140,100, followed by Egypt's Sharm El Sheikh at $144,896; Charlottetown, Canada, at $157,630; and Granada, Nicaragua, at $158,375. Warsaw, Poland, at $417,760, is closest to the $422,343 U.S. average of all of the foreign markets covered in the latest index."
More Ireland photos to follow soon... promise...
I'm in negotiations with Kynni's "people" about posting his star turn on YouTube, but it's a sticky situation. Oops... too late. Thanks to everyone for a great time!
Also make sure to check out Motto Magazine, a groundbreaking publication supporting small business and promoting a graceful work-life balance. Hoping to contribute to that publication someday soon!