Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking Back Upon 2007: A Year of Many Perfect Moments

Looking Back Upon 2007: A Year of Many Perfect Moments
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

January 1, 2008, New York City:

Looking Back Upon 2007: A Year of Many Perfect Moments

First and foremost, I would like to wish very a very happy new year, feliz año nuevo, feliz ano novo, joyeux noel! May 2008 truly be the best year ever for you and your family and friends!

Albeit 2007 had its disappointments, some fairly major disappointments (i.e. My first book was supposed to be published, but the publisher made some crucial business blunders and now it is supposedly slated for 2008….Also, things at work were a bit topsy-turvy over the last year, so I had to deal with that...), but overall it was quite a spectacular year for me, I really can’t complain.

I experienced many wonderful and sometimes perfect moments, many of which I shared with and were due to the time spent with my dear family and friends.

As I’ve been cleaning out the photo archives for the last two days, I got to reflecting upon all the wonderful moments of 2007.

Hence, following is a look back at some of the highlights for me and the stories, poems and musings that came about to complement the pictures that I took to remember all the good times.

As per one my first posts of year Wake Up! It’s Almost Midnight! 2007 began with a focus on a few other things than photography, including fatherly duties, finding a new flatmate and writing.

Reflecting upon life, I realized that “I miss a lot of things these days: my boys, the comfort and security of a house you call home, the comfort and security of someone who loves you and provides you with a consistent source of affection.” Ultimately, I concluded that I will survive, if not thrive, because of the life-altering decisions I’ve made.

I also shared some of my innermost thoughts with excerpts from my forthcoming book, 25 Lessons: The Art of Living, Lesson 12: Persevere.

“Doubt is a thief that often makes us fear to tread where we might have won.”
William Shakespeare

On January 18, I had a fantastic time my friend John Davis, the impresario of the music group Body & Soul, at their 10th Anniversary party at Pacha, which was attended by over 3,000 revelers.

February began with a heartfelt tribute to my former flatmate and freunde, Claudio. Within my musing I discussed the infamous 24-42 rule...and the crude differences between men and women, a key difference being that men can be crude, and women usually are not, as the ribald discussion therein will attest.

Soon thereafter, Flavia comes knocking at my door looking for an apartment, and it is “love at first sight”. Subsequently, a budding romance ensued and showed me the Meaning of Happiness once again

In turn, February ended up being a fairly fruitful period of poetry for me:
By The Time Light Showers The Earth
lovers crossing
I Knew That
The Weight of Love
In February, I also spent a lot of time and had a lot of fun with my dear friend Suzanne. I miss her much.

The love fest continues in March and starts with a long love letter, I Love a Rain Night.

Oh, how crazy love can be! For as surely as we all die, love inevitably fades away too. And with a pretty serious slicing of my thumb, symbolically, the severance seemingly seems to mark the beginning of the end.

Nonetheless and allthemore, the loss of the use of my thumb, made me realize that there’s a memory that is inherent to the various parts of our bodies, an observation that I elaborate upon in The Sticky Memory (of Myelin)

Moreover, to compensate for my loss, I began an affair with fruit, a love fest that lasts into spring and summer and beyond. Ultimately, I ended up with a cornucopia of verse from my torrid appreciation of nature’s Ambrosia & Aphrodisia.

And of course, as in the beginning is the end for many poets like me, and so, once again, we see a torrent of verse come as a consequence of lost love:

The Knot (what to do)
The Exorcism of Love
Funny How it Hurts
The Empty Bed

Oh, and how it went on (I’ll spare you).

Thankfully, I have wonderful friends like Suzanne, with whom I spent an absolutely perfect afternoon, so that I might cheer up and realize that regardless of the disappointments, life is truly wonderful.

Moreover, and most importantly, it was then that I realized and decided that “the rest of my life should be devoted to All Women.” In sum I wrote the following:

From now on I will only love, learn about, learn from, laugh with and live for all women.

No more of this one-woman-only nonsense. Such singular endeavors only confuse me.

Adapting to and dealing with the idiosyncrasies of the female individual only make achieving ideals like loving continually, laughing freely, learning and discovering exuberantly, and living harmoniously to help one another fulfill each other’s greatest potentials—all the more futile.

Recently, I realized that my heart is merely a muscle—it tires, it palpitates, it often skips a beat, and most importantly, it is subject to being bro


Merely the size of a fist, if I open it, it comfortably accommodates one person—practically, affectionately, sometimes quite perfectly.

Alas, although I am inclined to enrapture one by closing that fist, I know that true love is free, and thus, it must be left often. Herein lies the dilemma, for she can jump out at any given time.


To read the rest of this craziness go to: One Perfect Afternoon (and All Women)

Subsequently, I also conjure up a crazy plan to market 25 Lessons and save the world at the same time, or at least raise awareness and money to save a few breasts...

Because after spending a blithesome happy hour with my good friend Stephanie, she helped me realize that my love for all women was really about my belief that—every woman is special.

She also helped me realize that all breasts are special too—Buy A Book, Save A Breast

Finally, at the end of the month, the boys, the ex and I all took a day trip to The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

I began April by reading The Secret and subsequently decided to test it.

Alas, it seems that it didn’t work, because yesterday was the last day of the year and in the list of ten things I wished for, I wrote:

3. I want a million dollars by the end of this year, 2007.

Uh, well, sadly enough, it didn’t work and I remain poor as ever....

Speaking of things that don’t end up working, admittedly, half way through April the pangs of lost love still lingered. But then, one morning, I suddenly woke up from a bad dream and realized that I’ve got to move on and take hold of my life again.

“Wisdom and love have nothing to do with each other. Wisdom is staying alive, survival. You're wise if you don't stick your finger in the light plug. Love—you'll stick your finger in anything.”
Robert Altman

Thus, I pressed on with a cleansing of the soul and a week-long vacation in Florida with the family.

Then, of course, as luck would have it...I met somebody new.

Alas, that was ultimately, short lived too, but it was at times quite exhilarating and on the last day of April proved rather extraordinary when we shared a perfect moment—Last Night.

On the third morning of May, as I was walking to work, I came upon this behemoth of a building that is being put up on 29th Street. The signs that span across the construction site boast "55 Stories of Luxurious Living."

The irony is that I used to live there—there where there used to be a two-story building with a small apartment above the sacristy, the room where priests dress and prepare the Eucharist for mass.

In the spring of 2005 I moved in for three months and lived in virtual isolation during my first marital separation. The experience was life changing and the primary reason why photography became one of my greatest passions. These three months and subsequent enlightenment, also serve as the basis for my forthcoming book, 25 Lessons , which was to be published in July by Cyan Books.

Hence, when I came upon this monumental structure gleaming against the deep blue spring sky that morning I couldn't help but pause and reflect upon my stay there exactly two years ago. The fact that I lived in solitude and more frugally than I had ever lived before, was an amusing contrast to what “Sky House” would soon be offering—139 luxury condominium residencies.

The greatest irony for me though was that I actually came to understand the luxury of living in and of itself via these three hermetic months. It was an incredibly beautiful and enriching experience, which I would not trade for all the wealth in the world.


My editor Stephanie and I worked on the book for a few hours the night before, so, at the time, I was getting very excited as we approached the first scheduled publication date.

Subsequently, considering the experience of that morning, I was inspired to share some of my experience from that special time two years ago. Hence, I posted the tentative text from the preface of 25 Lessons. Click on the on the following, if you would like to read it: The Luxury of Living (Living is a Luxury)

June began with a beguiling by The Perfect Woman, perfection being found in no particular woman, but rather in practically every women that had some little something to bewitch me with—a mere scent, a smile, a bad-ass tattoo.

Midway through the month I attended a little soiree with one married woman and a thousand gay men at Gracie Mansion. The entire evening was interesting to say the very least, read all about it— Brain-Picking, Mind-Blowing and Just Getting Drunk.

On the tenth day of June I met Debbie; she's not only lovely and fun, but she also happens to literally live around the corner (how convenient). We met because her work colleague discovered her photo by chance, serendipitously on my website. I had taken a random photo of her in October of 2006 while on the subway one morning and wrote a piece called Waking in the Obliquity of The Ecliptic. To this day it is one of the most popular of my photos and stories on flickr.

So, after her friend found this piece, Debbie sent me an e-mail. I e-mailed her back. Then we met in the park and ultimately spent a lot of time together over the summer.

In June, I also began a project where I looked to a pair of my favorite photographers, Rose and Olive, for regular inspiration, subsequently creating other photos, prose and verse simply by following their work. Ultimately, over the rest of 2007, I created 78 works based on this initiative. Along the way I collected them in a set called Ode to Rose & Olive.

The month ends on a high note, as my friends Christina, Mel, Ally and Jessica hold their annual June Rager, which exceeds all expectations.

On the last day of June I realized that one should wear pajamas often.

As you may have gathered by now, I believe that Life is a Party!

Hence, the partying continued on July 4th, when my friend JD, hosted his annual backyard BBQ. Needless to say, I took a lot of photos of the kids and was particularly happy to play and watch the boys swim in the pool, especially since Nicky had just taught himself to swim. Much like his older brother, he never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

A few days later my father, who was visiting from California, and I took the boys to Bear Mountain for good wholesome, get dirty-and-smoky by the fire and jump-in-the-lake often camping.

Subsequently, inspired by my boys and some of Rose & Olive’s work, I wrote a piece about the importance of courage titled The Spine of Life.

In sum, their picture made me think about courage and my own experience with having the gall to pursue the fulfillment of my own potential as a person, as an individual, as an artist. To paraphrase Nietzsche, “Pursuing one’s passion is the spine of life,” in other words following your bliss often requires one to muster the nerve to consistently take many risks.

To illustrate this musing, I posted a photo taken of Nicky while at the lake. My hopes were that by my example my sons learn how to avoid the apprehension that comes with age and responsibility, and to continue taking the risks that are the privilege of youth.

“Youth is a gift of nature, Age is a work of art.” – Scott Allen –

A few days later upon my return to the city, Debbie and I took a day trip up north and it ended up being a Perfect Day (at Storm King), in really so many incredible ways. I ended up taking hundreds of great photos that day of the beautiful sky and sculptures and woman I was with.

July was also marked by a couple of crazy parties, both in one night. And once again, for the first half of the evening, as had happened the month before with Donna at Gracie Mansion, I was accompanied by a married woman and surrounded by hundreds of good-looking, likely gay, men.

I was with my great friend and editor, Stephanie, at “an evening of cocktails and celebration” being hosted by Esquire Magazine and the Canadian design house Jack Victor. The summer soiree was being held at The Garden Rooftop of 620 Fifth Avenue, with an exquisite view overlooking the Avenue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

A couple hours and half a dozen drinks later, after we had had some rather ribald fun at the expense of one of my best friends Rayner, we parted and I continued to party on with my friend and an old school chum at a Penthouse Magazine DVD release party being held at AZZA, a French Moroccan Restaurant and Lounge on the Upper East Side.

The highlight of the evening for me was when we were introduced to the Penthouse Pets and I naively asked one of girls “So, what do you do?” because I had no clue as to what to say otherwise. Hence, my surprise when she nonchalantly replied, “Oh, I do girl-on-girl adult videos, and sometimes ones with my boyfriend….”

To read the whole story click on the following: A Touch of Evil

At the end of the month, and into August, once again I had my boys for a week and this time we spent it exploring the city and its incredible architecture. I deemed the week to be “Architecture Week,” so that our activities were focused on the beauty and art and the amazing craft of what it takes to plan, create and build the houses, the apartments, and skyscrapers that we all live and work in today.

Subsequently, we went to the top of the Empire State Building, visited the ancient Egyptian obelisk and Belvedere castle in Central Park, took a tour of a “green” Architect’s office, saw movies like The Fountainhead and My Architect, as well as visited exhibits of giant sculptures at the Richard Serra retrospective at the MoMa and a return to Storm King.

Throughout July I was inspired time and time again by Rose & Olive’s work and created many traditional and experimental pieces of prose and verse. I invite you to read them via my blog, The Art of Living.

August was hot and so much of it was spent trying to escape the heat.

The highlight of the month was when I went down to Atlanta and spent some time jumping into the lake with my good friend, Captain Harry.

We spent a substantial amount of time on his boat and once again, the experience reaffirmed my belief that, indeed, Life is Good.

The month of September began with Nicky and Enzo’s first day at school; it was Nicky’s first day ever, as he was starting kindergarten. I was ecstatic and very proud to watch them that morning.

In mid-September I had my national TV debut when unexpectedly my friend Karen informed me that a video clip of me was used for a segment she had participated in on NBC’s TODAY show.

A month before, on August 18, we were at a BBQ in Brooklyn together and one of my best friends, Rayner, her boyfriend, videotaped my reaction to Karen's new straight hair style. She has naturally curly hair and I have a thing for curly hair BIG TIME (My estranged wife has gorgeous long curly hair ). So, when I saw that they had straightened her hair I screamed, "Ahhh! What did they do to your hair?" Alas, my screech made national television. Click the following to watch one of my most embarrassing moments of 2007: Straight or Curly?

In September I also ended up spending for absolutely fun and fantastic days with my friend Carolyn, part of which we spent exploring the abandoned Small Pox hospital on Roosevelt Island.

In the process, I was reminded that true wealth is not a matter of money, but rather one of appreciating the many wonderful things and people and small pleasures of one’s life. To commemorate this moment I wrote:

For although, considering my situation I am rather impoverished in so many ways, I am filthy rich in others—great friends who I love-love-love to party with; wonderful flatmates with whom I have enlightening long conversations; two beautiful boys that I love more than anything and anyone in the world; and a great sense of purpose, an overabundance of happiness, confidence, heightened awareness and knowledge about life and the world I love and live in, all of which I aim and strive and would love to share with others.

How could anyone want much more than that?

The more flesh, the more worms;
The more possessions, the more worry;
The more study and contemplation, the more wisdom;
The more charity; the more peace.
— Rabbi Hillel—

To read more about my thoughts on this matter and to see some cool photos of the ruins Carolyn and I explored click on the following: Less is More and the Ruins of Renwick

October started by celebrating Nicky’s 6th birthday. We hosted a soccer party for him and all his new friends at the Montclair soccer stadium.

In the middle month, I got to spend some quality time with myself. On particular day that I spent alone I went to the annual Photo Expo at the Javitts Center, and then wandered about the city to take some awesome photos. Even more awesome though, was the reaffirmation of the importance of solitude in my life.

"I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will."
Henry David Thoreau

This realization was especially important considering that I was reminded of my choice to be alone and separated from my wife, when we didn’t celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary, which occurred on the 25th of the month. Ironically, it was in a dream on that day that I regained some of what had been lost between us over the years.

Instead of moping though, I celebrated life that night by participating in a photography show where I debuted my first video montage for public consumption, Lunacy. I also ended up swallowing my first “tequila worm,” the coveted gusano.

November started in spectacular fashion, as I finally realized that I had to get my act together per se and organize all my writing via a “blog.”

Hence, on November 3rd I launched The Art of Living. In turn, I archived three years worth of writing and associated photos.

Half way through the month, I began to ponder the matter of time passing or rather its weathering of our souls, our lives and the beauty of our youth.

Domenica had passed onto me a photo of former Mayor David Dinkins and I taken 15 years prior while I was in graduate school. Albeit, it duly reminded me that I was turning 40 this year on Thanksgiving, and for a moment I lamented the start of my middle age, I began to see how rich the second half of my life will likely be—I am beginning….

Of course, observing my boys play Monopoly with their grandmother, my Mom, when she paid a visit in the middle of the month, only reinforced the realization about how rich my life really is and taught me that how to truly play when we are playing—I’ve Got A Monopoly!

Ultimately, I celebrated my 40th Birthday twice with my wonderful two flatmates, Jane and Doctor Lorenzo. The first time was on a spontaneous night out on the night before my birthday and the second time was at a dinner party they held in my honor a week later, which was also attended by Stephanie, her sister, Caroline, Ezra, and Robert.

I am very grateful to have such great friends.

At the beginning of the last month of 2007, I not only attended The Circus of Love, but I also had the opportunity to present my second photo-video montage, Six Stories of Love, which was inspired by the theme of the show, “What I think about when I think about Love.”

The following week I was invited to a weekend writer and artists’ retreat, on a private island off the coast of Stonnington, CT, called Elihu Island. My dear friend and fellow writer, Beth Jannery, had invited me. The experience was truly invigorating and not only generated new friends, lots of great pictures, but also a good wholesome poem that reminds us to stay “real.”

As has been the tradition for the last four years, on the second Thursday of the month, I celebrated the holidays with my friends down in Atlanta. As always, we had a wild time…

Around the same time, I was contacted by a major advertising agency which wants to use me and my work to launch a national advertising campaign for their client, a Fortune 100 company. The campaign will feature emerging artists and I was picked to launch the initiative. Although it ain’t set in stone yet, and God knows I’ve been through enough disappointments over the last year to know not to get my hopes to high, I’m duly honored and thrilled to be recognized in this way nonetheless and allthemore. Subsequently, I was asked to create a portrait that they can use for the campaign, here is what my friend Chelsea and I came up with on Christmas morning at 2 AM.


And of course, how could we end the year without a party to celebrate all the wonderful and beautiful and often perfect moments of 2007?

Last night, New Year’s Eve, Chelsea and I started out the evening by going to one of our favorite restaurants, The Queen of Sheeba, a great Ethiopian restaurant at the corner of 47th and 10th Avenue. We shared the vegetarian platter, which is an incredibly delitable of traditional dishes, complemented by lots of tasty Enjera, a spongy and moist, sourdhoughy flatbread of sorts that one uses to eat the meal with.

Afterward, we caught a cab and went to a friend’s shindig at her boyfriend’s newly purchased $12 million dollar apartment. He kept telling everyone, “I have the apartment across the way and half the floor above us, Oprah Winfrey rents the other half.”

The party was being held in the part of his abode with rooms that functioned as a gymnasium and an art gallery. In the corner of the living room with the view of the fireworks in Central Park, he had a signed almost life-sized book of Helmut Newton’s photography; and all over the place were smorgasbords of catered food. In one of the two bathrooms, he had a Jacuzzi with a view, with a chandelier hanging over it.

As many of us know, how you enjoy and appreciate life is not determined by money.

That’s one of the many reasons why Chelsea and I ended up having such a great time last night despite how boring the party might have been for others. It is also one of the many reasons why I like her so much.

Despite being a doctor, she bares no arrogance or pretension whatsoever, she’s full of life and incredibly compassionate about the patients she cares for and nurtures back to health or, unfortunately, as often is incumbent of the job of a first-year resident, the ailing people she needs to console into death. Yet, despite dealing daily with the depressing troubles and pain of others, she knows how to smile at the end of some very long days.

I sincerely admire that about her and I am often inspired by this extraordinary display of calm and courage.

Hence, I happily end the year, and began another, in her company. As the photos will attest, we had fun, to say the least. Thanks Chelsea…


So, there you have it…my take on 2007, and now you know how I feel…

Much Love, Peace and Happiness,

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Fish in the sea
You know how I feel
River running free
You know how I feel
Blossom on a tree
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know
Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That's what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine
You know how I feel
Scent of the pine
You know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me

And I'm feeling good

Feeling Good, Michael Bublé

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