To continue my sharing of our adventures in Europe earlier this month, I am sharing some of my photos from Berlin, Germany. Carrie and Leo, two of my amazing friends, and their baby live there. Carrie is a South Georgia native who moved there a few years after college. I have always been in awe of her decision.
Berlin is a great place to walk around and enjoy the sights. Liz, Jon, and I were told we brought the wonderful weather in our luggage. You could see the look of gratitude on the faces of the locals as the sun beamed down.
The final photo is what I discovered when I looked over the railing at a beer garden called Café am Engelbecken regulars. I am a huge fan of turtles and I was very happy. As I said, the weather was marvelous. I actually recall having one of those moments where you just sorta tilt your head back and wish there were more moments in life like these.
I just received my copy of Elizabeth Daggar’s fantastic Inktober book. The collection of ink drawings she did in the month of October, presented in such a powerful and unique way, is just one of the reasons I am so proud to call her my friend. If you haven’t yet ordered a copy and appreciate art and talent, do so.
Recently, I met up with my friend Sonia for lunch. I needed to bring her a couple copies of my book Wanders in Natureand I had requested a few of the small paintings she has been doing on miniature canvases. Despite having had a weird week, my spirit went up and my smile went from miniature to large when I opened the adorable pieces she set aside for me.
Life really is all about the little things, at times, and taking the time to appreciate the details in life. When we do, big things can happen, I believe. If nothing else, the practice helps me to laugh, smile, and feel more balanced. You know, to find the good stuff.
The photo I have included is of the two paintings I have left (the others were quickly dispersed and landed where they pleased in the world). I had to go shopping to find the little easels; it made my day when I found these. Again, all about the little things.
My friend Liz and I have started a web comic on Instagram called While You Were Happy and have been slowly telling people about it. The project is an outlet for us to share our love of dark humor and to collaborate in a fun, creative way. Click the link below and be sure to Follow us:
With the help of my awesome graphic designer in New York (electrofork), I decided to make a book of poetry and photography. I have received positive feedback from the friends and family I have given pre-ordered copies to and could not be more thrilled. I have always had a love of nature and hope the project evokes the childlike spirit I intended.
When life gets me down, I have found one thing that never fails to ease the pain is to focus on the positive and not so much on the negative aspects of my life. Something that always brings me back to realizing I am one lucky dude is to think about my amazing friends and family. I have always believed that I have the best in the entire world.
My friends are the reason I am the person I am today and why I am not completely insane. Any time I need advice or feel lonely, I have a wonderful support system to turn to. While I know I am not perfect, my friends have always accepted my imperfections and have forgiven me when I sought forgiveness. I have always tried to do the same.
My family always proves that unconditional love does exist and we always have each other’s backs. The truth is, I consider my family my friends and my friends my family. The lines between the two are quite blurred. And I love that.
The other night, I was texting back and forth with my friend Jerielle. We were writing to each other about how much we miss performing. At one point, she mentioned that she wants to write sketch comedy with me. We ended up sending each other the most encouraging words, concerning each other’s talent and potential. I started thinking about how awesome it is to have artistic and gifted people in my life who I so badly want to see succeed and who really want me to succeed as well. I meant every word I said when I told her how much I miss our voices singing together. I love that soprano!
The painting I included above is one my Grandma Jean had framed for me yesterday. She has always been such a great painter. She and I painted this piece together when I was little and had just moved to Georgia from Ohio. She pretty much held my hand for the bits that I contributed, but I remember feeling like I knew how to paint afterwards. She has told me many times that she remembers me, when I was young, encouraging her to paint more and pushing her forward with her art. I don’t really remember what I said, but I do know how passionate I can be when someone I love has such potential; I always appreciate when a friend or family member pushes me forward in that way, too.
In a world where it is so easy to turn on the television, look at social media, or pick up a newspaper and see negativity and crap, I am so happy to have a team who all make it very easy to find optimism and love. They are the best. I am just so grateful.
“It’s been so nice to have your brand of humor back in my life. I’ve been starved for it.” – Liz Daggar, to me, at Black Horse Pub in Brooklyn. 07/05/16
Last weekend, I went to Atlanta to celebrate my awesome friend Jessica’s birthday. I originally had my heart set on having a party for her, but the planning was futile. Instead, she decided she wanted some of her closest friends to join her for a painting class at a place called Just for Giggles. I did not think I would enjoy myself.
What I imagined was a class full of a bunch of strangers and all of us struggling to keep up with the instructor, whose backside we would see the entire time, while struggling to create a replica of what he or she created. The class really could not have been any different.
The first thing we were instructed to do was to choose a painting off the wall. I was so glad to have a choice in what I painted and to be allowed to customize the one I chose. Secondly, the instructor walked around the entire time, could not have been any more friendly, and gave excellent advice on how to proceed. Oh, and there was a ton of wine and cupcakes!
Watching my friends get so excited to paint was totally worth the money. I ended up getting so focused on what I was doing that I had to keep reminding myself to get up and walk around. I even realized a few times that I was neglecting my rosé! Unheard of.
Art is just the best thing in the world. I would totally go to a painting class again and I’m already champing at the bit to create more art. Here is the painting of birch trees I ended up with on Saturday: