Happy Birthday Jesus. I love Jesus. I dig on Mohammed, blessed be his name, too. Pass the gefilte fish. Know that if you ever go to a meat and three with the Buddha, he’s going to have the pie. I am Shiva, the re-constructor (not the destroyer … bad translation.) Hare Krishna!! I embrace all religions … all faiths … and I believe that there are things in this Universe that we do not understand, and cannot understand. That’s why it’s called faith. I have been in the high temples of Europe and smoky houses of faith in the Orient and have felt a sense of awe in those and many other sacred places. Infinity is a thing. At the end of the day, higher mathematics and religious ecstasy are the same thing. Ones and Zeros. If you want to get strip searched at an airport, drop a Koran in your bag. I was once robbed with a Bible. Failing to embrace someone else’s faith is to deny your own. Good and Evil exist in the world. I’ve seen both up close. They both have bad breath. Which is to say … what we do in this life echoes in eternity … what you do to the least of these you do unto me … love thy neighbor … thou shalt never eat anything bigger than your head… thou shalt not do murder … these are all just as important as smiting the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. This is taken from my Book of Common Prayer. Peace unto you. And also unto you. Love one another. As it is written, so it shall be. Amen.
Smooch has a cameo in the little Christmas film we made for Charlie Monk.
Watch by clicking below and share with your friends and family.
And so now I return to my regularly scheduled life.
Doing a big campaign like Foster Campbell is like going off to war except nobody dies and I don’t end up with PTSD. But now I want to sleep in my own bed. I want to take my wife to dinner and enjoy her making fun of my bed head hair when I get up in the morning. I want to play golf on Saturday mornings. I want to surprise my daughter when I pop in and have lunch with her. I want to take care of my clients. I want to be able to say yes when a friend wants to have a drink after work. I’m gonna go see my mother, and my brother. A friend of mine is buying a boat and, even though I don’t know anything about boats and I have a moderate fear of deep water, he wants me to go with him to get it and I think I will.
All of that will be awesome. This campaign will become a memory. The adrenaline rush of trying to bend an entire state to my will, on a deadline, with strategies, words and pictures cannot be adequately explained to someone on the outside. We won a lot of races this year and I had the good fortune to elect the governor of Louisiana 25 years ago. But the world has changed yet again and Foster Campbell striding onto the floor the United States Senate is not to be. The world is a sadder place because of that because John Neely Kennedy will be a boring lapdog and Foster Campbell in the United States Senate … that … that would’ve been a hell of a damn show.
I took this photo and wrote this more than a decade ago. Tonight, Americans will put aside their differences and watch a baseball game. This is why:
This has been a great year. A year of highs and lows. Of sweet memories and bitter disappointment. This picture is one of my favorites from the year … the hands of the JV squad joined together before a game. Such hope. Such promise.
When I think back to all the times I’ve spent with my children at ballparks over the years it seems like I’ve spent a lifetime there … and it’s gone by in the blink of an eye. I’ve eaten some great hamburgers and some bad hotdogs at the ballparks. Our children and our team have brought us together. Many of us would never have met otherwise.
There is a timeless quality to a baseball game … a suspension of time. Baseball is the only major team sport without a clock. It’s the only major team sport where the defense starts every play with the ball. It is a game of finesse and power, of speed and deliberation, of individual effort and teamwork. One mighty swing, one errant throw can change the course of a game in the blink of an eye.
It has been such a joy to watch these young men grow and develop over time. One of the players from last year was at the ballpark today and it was like seeing an old friend. We shook hands and in that handshake were all the memories of last year and of this year and of all the memories yet to be.
We will never regret our hours at the ballpark. We will remember the wins and forget the losses. We will come across a picture in a box some distant day and we will feel the dust of the field in our mouths, we will remember our children standing in the closely-mown grass and we will remember these timeless days with sadness and longing.
May 11, 2004
“All things on earth point home in old October:
sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences,
hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds,
the lover to the love he has forsaken.”
– Thomas Wolf
As I walked I came upon a scene of violence. The limb of a tree fell from a great height and crashed into the railing of a bridge over the river. A beam shattered. Nails pulled from wood with a great screeching sound. The limb in the water. All quiet now. But the violence remains. Hanging in the air.
Music has always spoken to me since that day in the fourth grade when a band director put a trumpet in my hands and asked me if I wanted to be in the band.
I am ecumenical when it comes to music. I owe my allegiance to no artist or style but rather find myself drawn to the beauty, power and mystery in all musical forms and styles. I listen to music often when I write or when I’m editing photographs. I listen when I drive, when I take long walks and in the little dead places in life where nothing else is happening (standing in lines, walking between the parking lot and the office, getting dressed, waiting for airplanes to take off.)
I used to listen to a lot of Chill. It was like having a soundtrack to my life played through the speakers of the humongous SUV I drove at the time. In recent years, I fell under the thrall of Dub Step, the London underground mashup of electronic dance music, power chord rock and roll, heavy bass and anything else you want to throw in the blender of Fruity Loops (a computer program for editing music). I especially love “the drop”, a moment in most Dub Step songs when after a soulful or intricate opening there is a dramatic pause and then a blast of sonic energy in the form of a wall of music that makes one imagine a warehouse full of people jumping up and down in unison and joy.
Imagine my wonder, in recent days, when I stumbled onto ChillStep, the bastard child of two genres of music I had, until then, loved equally but separately. I had used a voice command to tell my handy electronic assistant to play a Dub Step playlist and somehow, not once but twice, the assistant responded, “Playing ChillStep playlist.”
The calm moody laid back world of Chill jammed up with the frenetic power of Dub Step. ChillStep appeared as a revelation. Calming and energizing in turn.
I commend it to you.