Sunday, January 1, 2012


photo by gile

After casting our fortunes in molten lead at midnight (a German tradition), we ventured out to Queens Park post- dusk in search of some green land for a little pagan New Year's Day ritual.  I like setting things on fire and seek out opportunities to make wishes, so I combined these two interests and brought a bit of light to the darkness of a rainy January 1st in London.  The park was closed; determined to stand close to some cold wet earth if not upon it, we gathered outside the locked gates of the park while lighting our wishes on fire and releasing them to the winds of destiny.  It's on, 2012. . . let's do this.

My nephews continue to amuse and amaze -- and have both turned into quite avid hair farmers.  I feel like I'm living in "Dogtown and the Z-boys," starring children under ten with English accents.  It's a charming mash-up; I guess that's what modern life is all about -- disparate parts made new by their combination in unconventional ways.  I'm getting educated about such things, now that I own an iPhone.

photo by flavia rosales
In another mingling of harmonious elements, I spent one of the final weeks of 2011 on my favorite beach in Colombia with a beautiful group of brilliant Spanish-speaking buscadores, swinging in hammocks, following a 'no' diet, and finding ways to incorporate not just a year but a lifetime of memorable and confounding experience.  Igniting the dark horizon, we were guided by lighting; the rains were its cathartic assistant.  Among other endeavors for the new year, I'm revisiting Carlos Castaneda's literary offerings -- they were a little beyond me when they were first presented by my favorite bartender in the restaurant where I bussed tables in high school.

Owen and Rhys experienced a rite of passage as one of their post-Christmas outings: a journey to the local skate park with their new scooters.  This is where boys become men. . . or where a five and eight year old gain initiation to a culture that might actually land them in "Dogtown and the Z-Boys" or the English equivalent.  I grew up with brothers who did stuff with guitars and skateboards and related articles of manhood so it seemed like a natural and necessary act to introduce them to such a place.

My brother Kieran is also a badass.  After spending six years getting a fancy degree, he's had it with academia and is making guitars and bass guitars with his very own hands; all featured in these photos are his creations. I spent Christmas with him and his wife, Laura, and was reminded of what good can come from people who allow each other to be who they are.  A simple concept and yet a challenging feat of humility.

Rhys is still mad cuddly, which we are enjoying while it lasts.  He's almost six.  Inevitably the chemicals will crash and burn and turn against us when he hits puberty and decides we're all douchebags.  We will still love him, and he'll eventually remember that we're not so bad.  Love seems to follow this winding kind of path.