I think of my life as a record on a cosmic turntable. The A side is Love. The B side is Fear. It’s impossible to play them at the same time. All the unwise decisions I’ve made were shaped by fear. Every wise decision was made with love. The Beatles knew this. We can always flip the record. We can always begin again…
My first highest value is to be a present, loving father:
My Dad wasn’t around as much as I would have wished when I was a boy. Our values are often created by voids in our early life. When my wife gave birth to our son we’d say, “It’s like an Angel has moved into our home.” Nothing is more essential to us than surrounding him with love and laughter wherever we are. This is my greatest joy and a politically radical act for social change. For a forest to be green, each tree must be green. We are all children of the universe. Peace flows through everything and everyone. Sometimes it’s hard to spot, but it is there.
My second highest value is personal transformation:
Some years ago a dear friend committed suicide. A magical man… I had no idea he was in so much pain. I needed to sincerely honor his life in some way so I began to investigate my own pain. If he could do that, was it possible I could do the same? For clarity, I took everything that wasn’t serving me off the table. Escapism isn’t freedom. My son’s presence is a huge source of inspiration. These days I intend to welcome everything and experience life exactly as it is. I want as little as possible between me and the present moment. This is my jam. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. It’s a giggle.
My third highest value is inspirational comedy:
The current state of comedy is nothing to laugh about. I’m joking of course. Comedy is a serious business. I’m in awe of its ability to crack us open and deliver something unexpected. Laughter has a high vibration. Humor is a superpower. This reminds me of the quote by my favorite 13th-century poet, Rumi. ‘Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.’
My Dad and I loved to make each other laugh. Comedy was the field where we lay down together. We shared a reverence for all flavors of comedy including the well-timed fart at a most inappropriate moment. I remember delivering an absolute ripper on a perfectly solemn occasion. I thought this would impress the old man. My timing was sublime but he didn’t laugh. He just cupped his ear and said, “What did you say your last name was?” That moment still makes me chuckle. I was lucky enough to hold his hand over the last days of his life. We’d give each other the occasional little squeeze. Now and again his body clenched with fear. I whispered some words I’d never said before, “You are loved. You are loving. You are love.” The fear would slide over him like a piece of silk and something else began to emanate from his big ole, barrel chest. Whenever we used to hold hands we’d often play a kind of squeeze tennis with long gaps between squeezes and just when I’d forget we were playing he’d serve the lightest micro-squeeze to win the game. Now we were gazing at each other for the last time which was deafeningly quiet. If I had managed even the softest of “frrrts”, he would’ve died of laughter. Everything ends in goodbye. We are loved. We are loving. We are love. The Beatles knew this. Let the A side play.
Photography by Nicholas Chalmers
Grooming by Anna Bernabe
Words and Styling by James Lance