Saturday, January 07, 2006

Photo Bloggin' Numero Dos:Bird Man

Now this was taken outside of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. I call this one Bird Man. My favorite thing about this picture is all the action that is going on. Aside from Bird Man (the guy holding his hands up to feed the birds) you have the guy directly behind him who is making sure to get video footage of the spectacle. Then you have the couple off to the left, hypnotized by the experience. I have to say, it was a wicked thing to see. The little sparrows never landed in his hand...they would just hover over it and peck at the seeds he was holding out. The best part of the whole thing was Bird Man's shades. I wanted to get in closer...but I don't speak a word of French and just wanted to take the whole thing in. This second shot of Bird Man is wicked cause he looks dead at me while he's doing his thing. It was a fun day out in Paris.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Have you ever celebrated New Years three times in one day?

Well...for the first time in my life I have. I celebrated it in three different countries. It was wicked. was done on the phone...and I was only physically in one place...and it required some imagination..but was wicked.

As is customary on the first day of the year, I did some reflecting and looked back at the highlights (and lowlights) of 2005. Now I was thinking of listing some of these things....but I'm not that into my self. Instead...I'll share another thought that crossed my mind (forgive me've already got some of this).

In past years, when the first day of the new year comes around, I always wonder how much longer humanity has until it wastes itself. I wonder how much longer until the whole thing comes crashing down on us. And then I wonder who will inherit the earth afterwards. It's a pretty gloomy way to kick in the new year, but until recently I've had little faith and a great deal of cynicism towards humankind.

However, this year has been pretty amazing. I've seen a lot of hope amidst all the gloom. Enough of it to realize that it isn't all bad. In Cuba, I was amazed to see how many people, in Bennett's words, lived richly. Full of life, full of laughter, full of genuine kindness and compassion. I wish I could say I was romanticizing it, but I know a few people who would support me on this one. I've witnessed that same kind of...human-ness...since I've started this crazy adventure. I've had complete strangers open up to me and share their lives with me. Across language barriers, across cultural barriers, across all the artificial things we wedge between each other to demarcate difference.

If I had to pick one thing that has marked this year, it would have to been a thought that has popped into my crazy head over and over again. A simple thought, because honestly I'm not capable of grand, revolutionary ideas. It was a realization that we are all the same. And when I say we...I mean all of us. We all laugh, cry, hurt, dream, and love. We may do it in different languages, but in the end...these things are universal..and transcend all our differences. Now at the risk of sounding really cheezy...and really sappy...and all those things I hate to sound like...I'm going to continue with one final thought.

If humanity is terminal...if it is going to end...then I don't want to go on being cynical and jaded. Naw, not me. Because there is so much to this world that is beautiful, inspiring, and amazing...and most of those things are moments that we share with one another. Granted, there are a lot of fools who know nothing but have all the power and like to spoil these moments for the rest of us. But my prediction is this. When the system comes crashing down....if it comes crashing down...the it won't be those people who inherit what's left. It will be all of those people who have nothing but their hope, love, laughter, pain, sadness, sweat, and tears. Because in that...there is sooo much wisdom...and they are the ones who are not afraid to dream....and to live...richly. To me...that's the stuff we're all made of...and when you think of it that way....things don't look so bad.

So this year, I have a new attitude torwards things. I have much more hope...and a lot more love for this world. Even if that makes me look like a huge cheese ball...fuck it. If things continue to be as amazing as last year was, then it will all be alright. I wish you all...a very happy New Year.