Monday, August 15, 2011

A Gift, A Choice, A Revolution

I was asked to write something for two lovely friends' lovely wedding. It was my honor to read for the very best-est bride and groom. I'm only glad I didn't blubber through the whole thing. 

When we were in school, E used to advise me, "Love wastefully."

There is a story about Jesus preaching to a crowd. Thousands of hungry people have come to listen to him, but there are only six loaves and six fishes. Jesus instructs his disciples to start handing out food, and somehow there is enough to feed everyone.

Lo, it is a miracle.

By giving the food away like they would never run out, they never did.

If, on the other hand, they had tried to split up the meager rations so that everyone got what they deserved, but no more, no one would have received anything of nourishment. Of substance.

It is only by giving everything away that we have enough for everyone. 

You can interpret this story any number of ways, but I chose to think that this story, like all good stories, is about love.

When we attempt to assign how much love is rightfully owed, there is never enough, least of all for ourselves. And yet, if you give love away like you'll never run out, you never will.

On the contrary, you'll find that the more you give, the more there is.

It builds up inside of you, and soon you find that your heart is simply too big for the rest of you.

We must love with our whole hearts.

With both hands.

We must love. Wastefully.

It's hard to remember this when you are young and striving to be good at love. We treat it like the most precious of finite resources; there is so little love in the world, how can we possibly give our away? And so it withers in result.

When we are a little older, and maybe a little wiser, we get better at loving as if it were a skill, a muscle that needs strengthening which, of course, it is.

Rilke wrote,

To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

In tackling this most difficult of tasks, in this most rewarding of challenges, we make a choice.

We chose to believe that the very best of gifts is one whose worth is only ever increased when it is given freely. We choose to risk frustration and the very deepest of hurts because know the reward can bring us joy, threefold.

We choose to believe in a glass half full.

We choose to believe, like T and E have chosen to believe, in love.

In hope.

In the full glass.

In optimism.

This belief, above all others, has the power to move still waters, unseat tyrants, and invigorate that which apathy has withered.

It is revolutionary, this choice to invest in love.

To risk.

To vow.

In asking us here today, to witness them stand together before their chosen face of God, E and T have asked us to be participant in their revolution.

With all the love they have given to each other, and to all of us here today, without asking anything in return, it is clear to me that they will never, ever run out of love.

Illustration by Shepard Fairey.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Vanishing Act

I was very happy to asked by my friend, Mr. Hamish Robertson, to contribute to his magazine, Afterzine. I was asked to write on the topic of coincidence.  

Here is a little peek at my piece, "The Vanishing Act." 

My very last night in New York, I was running late. I'd already moved out of my Brooklyn apartment, and was staying in the strange hinterland of the Upper East Side, but needed to get over to Chelsea in time for my friend's birthday dinner. Cabs were nowhere to be seen, even on Fifth Ave. and I was going to be at least an hour late. I left defeated. The City had finally beat me. Then the fireworks started. 

It was the night before the Marathon, and it just so happened that where I was standing, right on the west side of Fifth Ave., right across from the pond, right in a gap in the trees of Central Park, was the best place  in all of New York City to see the Marathon fireworks. 

They had a lot of my favorite ones, the best one, the huge slow golden ones that look like champagne bubbles falling over the skyline. Standing alone in my coat and heels on my last night in New York, the air sharp with the promise of winter, I watched the fireworks until they were done, and then got into the cab which appeared suddenly. When I got to Chelsea, my friend hadn't even been seated yet. 

Growing up I was one of those girls who loved horses. I broke bones, and severed nerves, got up at 4 in the morning and gave up birthday parties on the weekends. It made me tough and taught me responsibility, and I wanted more than anything to be good at it. I felt sorry for adults who would wistfully at a horse and say, "I used to ride," and I promised I would never give it up. Of course I eventually did. I sold my horse back to my trainer for ten dollars and moved to Poughkeepsie for school. Now I explain that the dent in my thigh comes from the days when "I used to ride." I feel ashamed, guilty even, that I grew out of it, like Wendy turning away from Peter to her terrible grown up face.

 I felt the same way about leaving New York. 

To read the rest of "The Vanishing Act," you can purchase Afterzine here, for ten dollars, and it will be shipped to you. It is very, very pretty. 

Thursday, March 03, 2011

An IMtimate Conversation With: Moustache Man

Oh, hey. So, remember me? I sorta of run this blog. Because it's been so long, I'm changing the name of this feature, and trying to get back on the whole scene with this new thing called "blogging." It's like a longer version of tweeting or something. I've heard it's the new rage -- all the kids will be doing it soon.

ANYWAY. So I'm changing the name of the feature, and I'm kicking things off with this conversation with Mr. Mustache. Who is that? Well, he's a man who makes moustaches. As you can see by clicking on the above photo, which was original posted on here. (Please observe the shout out to me on Mr. Efron's face.) Read on to hear more about running from the cops, guerilla art posing as Oscar-nominated films (kinda? sorta? maybe?) and being Keith Richards' daughter.

EA: First off, I usually ask people "What is your name, and what do you do," but you're my second interviewee who needs to remain anonymous -- so I'll ask, how are you known, and what are you known for?

Moustache Man: I'm known as Moustache Man, although people call me a lot of different things- the Moustache Madcap, Moustache Bandit, Moustache Artist, or just Moustache. I write "moustache" where moustaches should go on posters, mostly in the subway, but also on the street, on buses. If there's an ad that needs a moustache, I'm there.

(One of Moustache Man's favorites taken by Jon Gorga. Who is not Moustache Man!)

EA: So you haven't given yourself this name, people have just started calling your variants thereof?

MM: I gave myself the name Moustache Man. The other names came from people who put up stuff about my moustaches on the web.