Happy New Year 2016

If you always do

what you’ve always done,

you’ll always get

what you’ve always gotten.

~ Henry Ford (among others)

Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.

~ Rumi

After a recent holiday visit, walking through the strange and wonderful land that is the city of New Orleans, where life and death seem daily to coexist together in close proximity, and where one never knows when an ill wind might blow in from the Gulf…I have one intention for the coming year…to live more deliberately…and with an increased measure of passion.

Happy New Year from the Carolinas!


Audubon Park, New Orleans

Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church at Loyola University

Southern gothic

Late on Christmas Eve…I lay awake in bed…in the darkness, sensing its presence about me. In that moment, I knew that if I wasn’t careful…if I wasn’t mindful…if I let down my guard for even a moment, that I might be enveloped by the tendrils of this living organism.

I had first felt its grip when I approached over the high bridge that spans the river…a city floating upon…and isolated within…the low country of coastal Georgia. Holy spires rising above a soft green cloud of live oaks. Even then, I could feel the centripetal force drawing me in…tugging at my heart and soul.

Savannah River

I spent two days walking the streets of this city. Near River Street…carefully picking my way over uneven cobblestones that had once crossed the Atlantic as ballast for ships of the realm. Imagining the hands that had placed them here in this strange new world.

River Street

Walking through streets and squares gave me the impression that I was strolling though a cemetery…but one that still had the breath of life. This was not a city with remnants of a storied past, but one that was still very much alive. Most cities have been overtaken by modernity, perhaps preserving a few relics of days gone by. This city…tolerated modernity. Its spirit was unbroken, and continuous with its past. It is still alive. I sensed that the people who walked its streets and squares were the ephemera…that the city loomed…quietly and patiently…benignly accepting their presence.

Forsyth Park

I awoke on Christmas morning…and somehow…some way…made my escape. But, I will return…of that I’m most assured.  Whether of my own free will…or not…that…is quite uncertain.