photo credit: Juliann Gates
“If you knew that your life was merely a phase or short, short segment of your entire existence, how would you live? Knowing nothing ‘real’ was at risk, what would you do? You’d live a gigantic, bold, fun, dazzling life. You know you would. That’s what the ghosts want us to do – all the exciting things they no longer can” – Chuck Palahniuk
She stands as a colossal Victorian deteriorating like a forgotten cathedral on the Philadelphia street corner of Broad and Fairmount. The days of elegance and grandeur have passed away beneath the tomb of her hollow arches only to re-emerge with an even more distinct majesty and allure.
Lorraine beckoned to me for years, her towering presence and asbestos dust seeped beneath my skin. It was only a matter of time until I’d find my way deep into the heart of her presence. From a cold black basement chasing light up a swirling marble staircase up ten stories to a massive penthouse ballroom turned hollow shell of abandonment. Where once the melodic clinking of silverware on fine china clattered against the muffled laughter and chatter of hundreds of guests dressed in their classiest attire was now condensed to a faint whisper in a slow swirl of white dust against sunlight peeking through empty arched window frames. Continue reading “An Appointment With The Divine” »
You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of knowing and loving people in more than one place
Over the past few weeks I’ve been slowly posting in segments pieces about my latest expedition to Ghana, West Africa. From start to finish, to the origins that led to the journey, to the many lessons I learned and re-learned throughout, here is the complete archive in one blog post:
1. – Affirmation
2. – Nairobi
3. – Maps
4. – My Lover (Pt. I)
5. – The Despair of the Privileged
6. – Reckless Abandon
7. – Pen & Paper
8. – Lake Bosomtwe
9. – The Grand Portrait
10. – Tourists and Travelers
11. – My Lover (Pt. II)
12. – The Inevitable Sadness
13. – The Burden of Self
14. – Stable Instability
15. – The Front Lines
“Why do you do these things?” Aldonza vehemently exclaimed. Several days earlier this man had entered their little town doing the most peculiar things.
Puzzled, Don Quixote replied, “What things?”
“These ridiculous … the things you do!”
“I hope to add some measure of grace to the world,” he said softly but with a strength she had never encountered before.
“The world’s a dung heap and we are maggots that crawl on it!”
Don Quixote answered with compassion, “My lady knows better in her heart.”
An apathetic comfortable conformity to the society in which one lives is the most subtle form of unconscious slavery. It’s nothing short of a suppression of the truth and of the abundant life.
When people (westerners) think of “the front lines” of battle or hardship, they often picture places that lack physical comfort and development, where wars, crime and terrorism reign and poverty dominates. Places like Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, South Sudan and Northern Uganda come to mind. Maybe one pictures the impoverished people living in the slums of Nairobi in Kenya or Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Truly this is where the wars are being fought, right? Continue reading “The Front Lines” »