Provincetown is going crazy this week with the circuit in town for “Independence Week”. Sergio and I have not been in Ptown for the Fourth of July in several years. This photo of Sergio and Coleby dates back to July 4th week in 2012.
Category Archives: Friends
My friend Sheraz (shown above) recently started recording meditation podcasts. The recordings are as much a personal cathartic expression as they are intended to be for others. A recent podcast entitled The Power of One, which he recorded just prior to the Christmas holiday is a brief meditation on goal setting. The topic seems appropriate for New Years – a time when many make resolutions. The entire podcast lasts about 12 minutes and concludes with a 3 minute meditation.
Click Here To Listen: THE POWER OF ONE
I am a firm believer in setting goals so I wanted to give the podcast a shout out and suggest you listen to it when you have a minute (or twelve to be precise).
For as long as I’ve had this blog I’ve paid tribute to my friend, Graham Berkeley, who was on the United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower of New York’s World Trade Center at 9:03 AM on September 11, 2001.
If Graham were alive today he would be 53 years old rather than 30-something I knew. At this point, more time has passed since his untimely death than the duration of our friendship, but tragedies have a a way of cementing in time the memories of those taken from us and so is the case with Graham so each September my mind inevitably turns to a friend who’s memory remains with me despite not seeing or speaking to him for nearly two decades.
Sergio and I are heading to our friends home in Albany, NY for the weekend. Each summer our friends Marco & Michael invite a group of friends out for a relaxing weekend that is mostly comprised of eating too much, lounging by the pool with a drink in hand and catching up.
Hopefully Saturday will be pool-weather worthy so I can spend some quality time with my good friend, rubber ducky, and enjoy another great weekend with friends – this time in upstate N.Y. Below is the street view of the lovingly restored farmhouse our friends call home which Sergio and I will be staying.
This past week The Boston Globe had an interesting article that I had missed but my friend Dan had read and forward to me. The gist of the article written by Billy Baker is that many middle aged American men unconsciously are isolating themselves and over time, this is resulting in many feeling alone.
As the title of the article says, “The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.” Baker writes that after he spent time thinking about who he interacted with regularly he realized that he had been making work, his wife, family (even “me time” as he puts it) a priority, but over the years as family and job commitments increased, slowly but surely it was his “friends time” that had been pushed aside.While many gay men are having families and the pressure to be there for their spouse and children is very real, I would like to think that our friendships for most gay men take on an added importance. However, when I look at my own life, I can honestly say that more than half the time I’m connecting with a friend the initial discussion goes something like this.
Me: Hi. How are you? I feel like its been ages. What’s new with you?
Friend: Life is good. I’ve been busy with work…. blah, blah, blah…
I get a lot of satisfaction from my work and it affords me a lifestyle that I really like, but I’d hate to think that I would value or put time at work ahead of time with friends. Staring at a phone or computer is a poor substitute for the connection one feels when you are with a friend nor are the memories going to resonate quite the same, so maybe we all need to evaluate how we are interacting with those closest to us. Are we defaulting to leaving a 5 word note on Facebook to wish a friend well on their birthday or are we picking up the phone, having a conversation to wish them the best and make plans to see each other? It’s really that simple.
Baker suggests regularly scheduling time with friends; either agreeing to a particular routine where you can meet or relying on clubs, sports, etc… that have a schedule you can commit to and be a part of to avoid letting long stretches of time pass before you see each other. If you’d like to read more you can check out the full article here.
A lot has been said about how crappy 2016 was and how many are looking forward to putting this year behind us, but upon further reflection I realized that despite some high profile losses – chief among them for me Prince & George Michael and other horrible events in the world – I’ve had a wonderful year.
I’m thankful for the time spent with my family and friends, the new friends Sergio and I made along the way this year and some really wonderful events / happenings including but not limited to the following:
I’m an uncle six times over now that I have Summer and Caitlin in my life. Although Caitlin (above left) is as big – if not bigger, Summer (above right) is actually four months older. The photo was taken this fall when Caitlin was about 4 months old and Summer was 8 months old.
My parents celebrated really big birthdays with friends and family this year. They both remain in good health and with their new home in Portsmouth, NH I hope I will be able to see more of them in 2017.
Sergio and I took two international trips this year, visiting Portugal for the first time this past September (FYI – we loved it) and returning to family in Brazil in November / December. In addition to those trips I was able to visit friends in the following cities: Austin, TX in March; San Francisco and New York City. Sergio and I also escaped what turned out to be an incredibly mild winter by spending several days in San Juan, P.R. in February.
There is more to be thankful for as well including my aunt’s fight with cancer, a new job for my brother-in-law, a growing business for my other brother-in-law, we met several special people this year who we are lucky to have as friends and lest I forget, while I’m sad to see Obama leave office he concluded his 8 years in office in 2016 with a level of class and grace that I think will be left wanting in the years to come.
I wish and hope everyone has as wonderful a 2017 as Sergio and I had in 2016.
For as long as I’ve had this blog I’ve paid tribute to my friend, Graham Berkeley, who was on the United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into New York’s World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. The 15 years that have passed since his tragic death account for more time than we were friends, but he remains present in my heart and is someone I think of whenever I visit Provincetown or hear Whitney Houston and sadly every September for far less happy reasons.
Taken too soon and still missed today, Americans will mourn an attack on the nation that is for most fodder for political debate and indignation; especially this year with a Presidential election pending. For me the 11th of September is always about giving thanks that my partner was not working the United Airlines flight and about the days that followed, which included the unfortunate task of packing Graham’s belongings and shipping them to his parents in the U.K.
In loving memory of Graham.