Give Love

During my routine quiet time, with my coffee, and my dog, and my fireplace, this somewhat sunny Valentines morning, I of course thought about love; Love Ive received, but more importantly, love that Ive been able to feel and share with others. It occurred to me how blessed Ive been to open myself and really love another person, which made me think of all those who haven't been so lucky. We constantly worry about feeling the love of another, but what an incredible gift it is to give our love, to open up, fight through the fear it may not be returned, and really embrace a brazen vulnerability. Give Love today. Hell, give love everyday.  I guarantee there are many who need it. 




a night to remember... a quote that embodies it

"Here's what I remember most: her embrace. Her belief in me. And the joy she gave. That was her gift. When I think of her now, I think of that time when a dream came true. And my only talent was not to close my eyes." (My Week With Marilyn)

the trouble was - I did close my eyes, but only cause it felt safe to do just that.



Lana's Words

"I once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet. But upon a series of unfortunate events I saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky. I didn't really mind because I knew it takes getting everything you ever wanted and losing it to know what true freedom is."

Lana Del Rey "Ride"


a man who falls in love.

“Nothing is more practical than finding God,
That is, than falling in love 
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination 
will affect everything. 
It will decide 
what will get you out of bed in the mornings,
What you will do with your evenings, 
How you spend your weekends,
What you read, 
Who you know,
What breaks your heart, 
And what amazes you with joy and gratitude. 

Fall in love, 
stay in love, 
and it will decide everything.” 
― Pedro Arrupe

It was a birthday card from a woman who has become more than just a pastor, with a prayer for hope and a scarf that is meant to match my eyes.

It was a Thursday when the light of possible love, companionship and new adventures with another, switched off with little explanation or clarity, only bad timing and a few tears. 

It was a Birthday, A day when friends gathered to support the creation of another, true blessings, true investments, a lot of flowing spirits. 

I'm 33 years old. I dont know when I became a man who falls in love. I dont know if I love the idea or the practice more. I like to think its both. I didn't know I was capable of caring so differently than I once did. Unexpectedly. Surprisingly. Different. I guess I am. 

We were meant to be sleeping next to each other last night. Entwined in warm protection from the cold autumn air. From the rain. From the past. From those who had wrenched our hearts just being human. We were helping each other learn forgiveness. We were helping each other learn faith. We were meant to sleep, wrapped in limbs and flesh, never moving until morning. 

I dont regret anything anymore. Maybe my panic when you vanished, like they do. Maybe clinging to the comparison that Ive felt this all before. Maybe I'm learning to be a better man.

I'm learning love and I'm practicing it, I'm getting better and I'm ready to apply it. I'm learning patience and I'm practicing it, I'm getting better. I'm learning loss. I'm learning life. I'm letting go.

I might have fallen in love, I really wanted to. I probably always will. I know now that's okay.


The words of two melodic brothers.

"Forever I will move like the world that turns beneath me
And when I lose my direction I'll look up to the sky
And when the black dress drags upon the ground
I'll be ready to surrender, and remember
Well we're all in this together
If I live the life I'm given, I won't be scared to die"

The Avett Brothers. - 



some words for my brother-

That is why we should never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (New Living Translation)


Because I think its all about Love... and I guess some others do as well:

“Jesus does not merely talk the language of friendship, he lives out his life and death as a friend and he commands that his followers do the same.  The commandment to love as Jesus has loved may be the most radical words of the Gospel because it claims that the love that enabled Jesus to lay down his life for his friends is not unique to him.  This love can be replicated and embodied over and over again by his followers.  To keep Jesus’ commandment is to enact his love in our own lives…if we take Jesus’ commandment to love seriously, and if we long to give love freely and generously without counting the cost and without wondering and worrying about who is on the receiving end of our limitless love….  What counts most is the embodiment of God’s love in the world, not the character of those who receive this love.”

Cited from New Testament scholar Gail O’Day, in a sermon given by Rev. Beth Neel on the "Theology of Friendship",  Sunday May 13th. 


Bass's Words

“There's a part of every living thing that wants to become itself. The tadpole into the frog, the chrysalis into the butterfly, a damaged human being into a whole one. That is spirituality.” 

- Ellen Bass


Henry's List.

In the early-1930s, as he wrote what would become his first published novel — Henry Miller wrote a list of 11 commandments, to be followed by himself. 

The list read as follows.

COMMANDMENTS (1932-1933) 
  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Black Spring."
  3. Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can't create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don't be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.


my plan to make new plans.

Magnolia trees are starting to bloom on 15th ave. The spring in Portland is grey. I would never complain. In my car, country music is playing on the radio. Simple music with a simple message. Simply, love. An hour was spent with a new friend, a church pastor with a voice sweet, and soft as a primary school teacher. She said a prayer for me. For you. For love. For real love, true love, healthy love.

I'm a bit of a planner. I planned our life together. It didn't have many borders, but it did have some essentials. I planned to give you a ring. I planned to write some vows and use a quote that I read and wrote down in early January. I dont know where I read it. I planned a life for us, a life without plans.

Now I need to plan differently. Plan a trip to Africa to build a library, Brazil to build a house, Cambodia to accompany a beautiful girl with red hair. I still plan on living a life with you, but its a different life, and its a different love, hopefully. Honestly, that's my hope. I love you. Ive said it before and Ill probably say it again, Ill love you forever.

And because now seems as good a time as any:
"I hope someday to love you to such a degree that I can see you as God sees you. "



Robinson's Words

"There was more to it, of course. For me writing has always felt like praying, even when I wasnt writing prayers, as I was often enough. You feel that you are with someone. I feel I am with you now, whatever that can mean, considering that you're only a little fellow now and when you're a man you might find these letters of no interest. Or they might never reach you, for any of a number of reasons. Well, but how deeply I regret any sadness you have suffered and how grateful I am in anticipation of any good you have enjoyed. That is to say, I pray for you. And there's an intimacy in it. That's the truth."

-MR 'The Gilead'


between question and affirmation

"You're successful."

It was somewhere between a question and an affirmation.

"Yes." was my reply.

We will call him John. Ive barely known him. He seems to have formed opinions of me. I'm comfortable with this. His opinions seem positive.

"Do you feel guilty about your success?" This was a question. I think he thought he knew the answer.

No. I work hard." This is truth. "I feel guilty cause I know I can give more." This is also truth.

"I'm thankful. Its raining and its cold. I have a roof over my head, I have a bed, I have a job I love that provides for me. But on my way here I passed several homeless people with tarps and blankets and makeshift tents. Its raining and its cold. I could do more."

I tell John that last week a yoga instructor massaged my neck and shoulders and head while I was laying with my eyes closed at the end of class. It wasn't sexual. I longed for her touch. I realized how long it had been since I had been touched. After class I cried in my car.

I told John about an organization in Portland that meets on thursday nights under the Burnside Bridge. They provide food and blankets and warm clothes to the homeless population that gathers there. They bring large basins in and wash the feet and hair of these men and women. Most wouldn't give much thought to how long some of these people have gone without physical touch, without love, without truly being seen. Telling John almost makes me cry. I dont. Someone told me once if a baby doesn't get touched, doesn't get hugged and kissed and loved, it will die. I believe this. I could give more.

John told me a story about his neighbor. "A nice guy, very successful, very rich" a doctor or lawyer or something that required many years of college. John happened upon the neighbors biography online. It was full of volunteer work. It was full of humanitarian awards. His nice, successful, very rich neighbor gave more.

"You're successful." This time a statement.

"But you haven't lost yourself. You dont let your success go to your head. I dont think you ever will. My neighbor didn't either. The measure of success, wealth, celebrity, is what you do with it. You're on your way, you're aware. You are a good man." The last statement he said as if he knew I forgot sometimes.

John seemed proud of me. It was genuine. He barely knows me.

After we parted, I cried in my car.


Didion's Words

"I stood on an escalator thinking about those days and nights without once thinking I could change their outcome. I realized that since the last morning of 2003, the morning after he died, I had been trying to reverse time, run the film backward.

It was now 8 months later, August 30, 2004, and I still was.

The difference was that all through those eight months I had been trying to substitute an alternate reel. Now I was trying only to reconstruct the collision, the collapse of the dead star."

-JD "The Year of Magical Thinking"

a Christmas Present 'I had NOT sufficiently appreciated' till now.


Vedder's Word

"Once in a while will you try to give
One little thought to me
Though someone else may be
Nearer to your heart?

Will you dream of the moments
I shared with you
Before we drifted apart....
Once in a while?"

-EV, Ukalele Songs


Cunningham's Words

"The wider world perceives fashion as frivolity that should be done away with. The point is that fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life. I don't think you can do away with it, it would be like doing away with civilization."



In a hopeless place...

"It’s like you’re screamin', but no one can hear.

You almost feel ashamed that someone could be that important, that without them, you feel like nothing.

No one will ever understand how much it hurts.

You feel hopeless, like nothing can save you.

But when it’s over, and it’s gone, you almost wish that you could have all that bad stuff back, so that you could have the good."

-Rihanna's Words


Someone I respect and love just informed me that they "hate the fashion industry"
Honestly, a lot of the time, I do too.
I have frequent thoughts of quitting it all together, traveling around the world with my camera shooting real life and real stories, immersing myself in other cultures.
Capturing: Non Fiction.
However, the following reminders, always boomerang back when I have doubt and frustration filling my heart:
At a very basic level, fashion is simply ART. Expression. Inspiration. The beauty of Gods world shown from my point of view.
I have an opportunity to be a positive influence and conduct myself and my business in a manner that builds people up and gives them an outlet to express themselves.. to make art... to create.
Every aspect of every industry has its dark side.... that is simply the role humanity plays. But for there to be light there needs to be dark, and in that extreme-balance and beauty can be found.


"Meanings change but not the tale"

You emailed me late last night. I read it this morning. It was passionate, yet arrogantly misguided.

You are beautiful. One day, you'll know this on your own.
You wont need another person to tell you... and when you are told, it'll mean that much more.

I read the email and then I drove to your apartment.

I wanted to finish all of this, to end this drama and pain.
But- also- I wanted to see you. Your face is home to me.

I prayed the whole way.

My mouth was dry and my hands were trembling and I contemplated stopping to get a bottle of water.

I didnt stop.

And you werent there. I prayed you wouldnt be. I hoped you were.

I wanted to tell you some things that might surprise you.
I wanted to tell you to make a choice.

To choose him. But if you
do choose him, to let go of me completely. To let go of the pain that was caused to you in life. To choose to rise above it.

Youre too stubborn to see that Ive changed. Youre too stubborn to see that Im capable of more. I wanted to tell you to choose me. I could never have said that out loud.

I wanted to tell you that this, is love. We are in the middle of it. You love me and I love you and its messy and its inconvenient, and sometimes it hurts like hell. I wanted to remind you that this is what you wanted. You wanted me to fall in love with you- and I fell. I wonder if I should wish I hadnt. I dont.

Today- I wanted this to end. Proper. I wanted to let you go completely. Ive been trying with all my strength and all my prayers. But I wanted to look into your eyes so we would both know its the truth.

You say that there was only pain... but there was connection and fireworks and laughter and flirtation and faith and so many words. There was an autumn and winter of words that served as our foundation.

From the first email. From the first sip of coffee. That is truth.

I went on a date yesterday. There was none of that. It was disappointing, and I missed you. Conversation that flowed easy for us... was absent. Ill try again. It was proof that we were, we are, real. And that we were not finished.

We are human and imperfect and that is okay. God has us right where he wants us to be. On this very sunny and cold November day a year after you first reached out to me- I was meant to stand on your doorstep and knock to no response... not even the stirring of a sulking cat.
Gods will is perfect and we dont know when our journeys might cross again. Maybe never.

Never seems like a waste.

I put you away after we talked the last time. I thought I was falling out of love... I thought I was moving on... Then a picture of you brought it all back and I realized, its all still there. I wonder when the day comes that Ill wake up and not be affected by thoughts of you. When will I not miss you. Youre a phantom to me. You haunt me. In a way, its a romance neither of us ever imagined. The type from bad young adult novels that become overrated yet successful movie franchises. Im in love with a ghost.

There are things only sorrow can teach. And I feel to avoid pain we are only attempting to live shallow lives...

The sadness we feel often reveals to us the things that are most important. Even as I type I wonder if I should keep fighting for you. I wont, but not because of a lack of love, because I respect you too much and dont want to cause you anymore pain.

My sadness revealed my love. It wont matter for me to tell you how important you are. It wont matter for me to dote that you are incredible. You dont believe it... not yet. My prayer for you daily is that one day soon you do.

You said I still have half your heart. You have all of mine- and in words channeled through you from your favorite singer,

"My love for you is real."


"we will gain stability from being unstable."

the thoughts that come when standing on one leg.


"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a morning mist that appears for a while and then vanishes. " James 4:14

I read these words this morning.

I also read words that an amazing friend died.

these words on this morning followed by more words.

i dont have any words. im sitting here with emotions i dont know how to express. not poetically. not intelligently. Just feelings. ill miss my friend. ill miss her grace and ill miss her strength and her laugh. And by writing that down it makes it real and im starting to cry and i dont cry very much.

its fall. the light is beautiful. misty with golden sunlight that only occurs when the sun moves further from the earth and is diffused by a fog that hangs around the few brief hours of morning.

light to me is my emotion.. the words i cannot say... the description wouldn't mean as much.
I do feel.. though at times i seem .. too logical.. too apathetic... but that in the light - my true feelings are expressed.

Ill remember the light the morning i found out an amazing woman went to live with God. Ill remember the way i felt. The same way I
remember the inky but pale blue dusk that enveloped my loft when my last relationship ended... or the brilliant summer sun that broke through my moms kitchen windows when i told her i was gay or the flashing neon bar light when my dad called to tell me that my grandmother was, as he worded it: "taken by the Lord"...

The light describes my feelings... the light describes my memories.

whenever the light of an autumn dawn mixes with morning fog, ill remember my friend. Ill remember that this life is short. that this life isnt to be taken for granted- relationships shouldnt be taken for granted. friendships shouldn't be taken for granted. Ill remember that love IS enough and sometimes love is all we need to make it through. Ill think of my friend and ill remember how lucky i was for knowing her... ill remember how lucky i am for loving and for feeling the love ive felt. Ill remember to express that love as often as possible. Cause life is short, tomorrow doesnt exist yet, we only have today, this moment. thats all. Ill miss my friend. the tears are gone. im happy to have known her.


country poetry

"hope is the soul of the dreamer
And heaven is the home of my God
It only takes one true believer
To believe you can still beat the odds"



today I:
Slept in, listened to an incredible sermon, went to yoga, had lunch and caught up with old friend, got coffee at the Red E cafe, took Ben to the dog park, walked in the NW rain, decided to make winter squash soup and watched a movie with one of my best friends.
Good Sunday.
Good life.
I feel like at any moment a deep voiced man will narrate the word "priceless" and suddenly the MasterCard logo will be displayed in the corner of my eye-line.