Thursday, August 24, 2006

All Or Nothing At All

It is a logical truth that there is both too much and nothing at all to say at this present junction.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


"I dare you to!" she whispers to me. Being "dared to" confess is unusual motivation to seek redemption, but this is my last day in Paris, and how often does one frequent Notre Dame?
"Look! It says you can confess in English." she whispers again. Despite the hushed din of the swarm of tourists circling the church, her voice is remarkably, and eerily, clear. It seems like God is making this far too convenient - here I am in Notre Dame, a devout Catholic is rising from the seat in the Confessional, the Priest speaks English...
"Why not?"
The "confessional" is an enclosed alcove of the Cathedral cordoned off by a glass wall with a glass door in the center.
I indicate to the Priest that I am prefer to speak English. His English is bad he says, and so if I am able to, he would rather do this in French. Doing it in French would just add to the cultural experience of it all, so I agree.
"Je suis homosexual", I begin.
He understands he says. He then tells me that, unless I have a vocation (it was hard to understand this concept in French at first) in which I must remain celebate, then it is not sinful to love another man, but I must be faithful to one man only. "Does that mean I should marry?" I ask. He tells me that marriage is a sacrament and to marry another man is a sin. He implores me to find love and to be faithful. He then blesses me and sets me free, back into the circling mass of tourists touring the medieval Cathedral.
I am surprised by what I have been told in confession. I have been told that the church and God accept me for who I am, and that there is some discrepancy between the official word of the church and the practicing word of the church. Do not believe everything you hear, but believe everything you experience.
I leave Notre Dame feeling surprised, enlightened, content, and, to be honest, a little bit divine.
I have been redeemed. And so has the Catholic church.


On a Clear Day
Rise and look around you
And you'll know who you are...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The European Experience # 101

The Prologue Or Epilogue. Depending on How You Read It...

So it is done. Countless journeys on planes, trains, and buses; countless days wandering foreign streets; countless hours in musuems and parks; counteless nights in bars and clubs; countless mornings in hostels and homes with friends and lovers; countless dollars on food and accomodation and transportation has produced 1001 photographs. These snapshots of the places and people I have seen will be printed off and lie orderly upon sticky sheets protected by transparent vellum and bound in a leather album.
The product of the European Experience is this: a possession.
And what do I possess? I possess a photo album.
But no.
There is something more.
There is something more personal and honest... More true and beautiful...
Yet this possession is something that only exists when shared. It's existence is based on an act of community. An act that connects people together in a shared experience. Not my experience in Europe, but an experience that is shared in the moment of the act of sharing. (My "European Experience" is in the past and can not be reclaimed). My European Experience is a solitary one in some respects (I travelled alone), but my European Experience has produced something that is communal.
What is the product of my European Experience?
What is this possession?
What do the 101 entries of my "European Experience" blog add up to?

Let me tell you a story...

The European Experience # 100

The Facts

- 10 weeks - 78 days
- 1001 Photos - 101 Blog Entries
- 5 Flights - 4 Train Trips - 5 Coach Trips
- 8 Cities - 5 Countries
- 4 Hostels - 5 Homes - 4 Sets of Keys
- 27 Museums/ Galleries - 13 Palaces/Chateaux
- 12 Parks - 16 Churches
- 110 Acquaintances Made (approx) - 24 Phone Numbers
- 1 Notebook

The Itinerary and Highlights

London May 16th to May 26th
- Tate Modern - National Gallery (Whistlers Grandmother)
- National Portrait Gallery - V & A Museum (Modernism Expo)
- St. Paul's Cathedral - Westminster Abbey
- Buckingham Palace - Big Ben
- Hayfever (starring Judi Dench) - Billy Eliot the Musical
- Sunday in the Park with George - Titus @ Shakespeare's Globe
- Harrods - G.A.Y.
- Royal Ballet 75th Anniversay Gala Rehearsal

Brighton May 26th to May 30th
- Royal Pavillion - Brighton Beach and Pier

London May 30th to June 1st
- Heaven - Ghetto
- Regent's Park - Hyde Park

Barcelona June 1st to June 5th
Gaudi Architecture
- Sagrada Familia - Casa Batlo
- Parc Guel
- Picasso Museum - Andy Warhol Expo
- Mies Van der Rohe Pavillion
- The Beach and the Mediterraenean

Madrid June 5th to June 7th
- The Prado
(including both Velaquez's and Picasso's Las Meninas)
- Reina Sofia Museum
(including Guernica, The Great Masturbator, and Before Awakening)
- Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
( Sisley, Degas, Monet, and other Great Impressionists)

Amsterdam June 7th to June 14th
- Van Gogh Musuem - Stedlyk Musuem
- The Canals - Red Light District
- Biking

Antwerp June 14th to June 16th
- Chocolate - Beer

Paris June 16th to June 19th
- Musee D'Orsay - Eiffel Tower
- Notre Dame - Centre Pompidou

Angers June 19th to June 31st
- Francoise Morrellet and the Musee des Beaux Arts
- Musee David D'Angers - Cointreau Tour
- Chateaus - Golf

Paris June 31st to July 29th
- Louvre - Musee D'Orangerie
- Paris Opera - Musee Rodin
- St Chappelle - St Sulplice
- La Madeline - Sacre Coeur
- St Eustache - St Germain des Pres
- Cemetery Pere La Chaise - Cemetery Montparnasse
- Musee Picasso - Musee d'Art Modern
- Luxembourg Gardens - Tuileries
- Champs Elysees - Champs du Mars
- Arc de Triomphe - La Marais
- Tennis
- France beats Brazil in the World Cup

London June 29th to August 1st
- Soho Pride - Abbey Road
- Tate Britain - Goodenough College
- National Gallery: Rebels and Martyrs Expo
(Schiele, Van Gough, Courbet, Picasso, etc...)

The European Experience # 99

I have accomplished everything, and so much more, that I set out to do on this adventure.

And now...

I am coming home.

The European Experience # 98

The writer has invited me for a "dirty Berlin weekend in his dirty Berlin flat" where "we will do dirty things." I wonder if Rick gets invited to Berlin with these intentions. I hope not. Rick is the writer's boyfriend.
I hope Rick is never invited to Berlin. I hope that I have inspired such divine desire, such lingering lust, such love in my writer that Rick and the "love" he shows is insufficient, inadequate, and ultimately unpleasureable. I hope that I have touched my writer so deeply in his heart and soul that he ends his foolish love affair with Rick bcause he can not live without me and must drown me in his love and affection. I hope that, no matter what I can have what I want and I can and will be happy. I am selfish, uncaring, and insensitive.
True love, or at least this love, is not moral.