Yom Kippur is a Jewish Holy Day also known as the “Day of Atonement”, which occurs soon after Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). There is a lot of ritual and tradition surrounding the occasion, but my bastardized overview concept is about atonement for one’s sins. I once observed a Jewish friend of mine apologizing to various friends for hurt they had caused, to take responsibility for their actions and to move on from that in the new year. Despite not being a practicing Jew myself, I felt it was a good enough tradition to adopt, and try to recognize it every year with a “moment” of repentance.
I have no deity to confess or repent to, nor any arbitrary moral requirements besides those of basic ethics – to not harm others by my actions.
I sat at a computer all night trying to find the emotional zone that makes me tell a story. I got distracted by the typical aspects of the internet, and suddenly dawn arrived and I had no words yet, despite having spent three days telling myself it was time to write it. Finally, I grabbed a pack of clove cigarettes and a lighter and headed to my porch to watch the sun rise. I don’t even smoke, I just love the smell of burning clove, the way the tendrils of smoke rise off the ash at the end of the cigarette. I listened to birds sing and the neighborhood wake up. I started talking to someone who wasn’t there, I started telling them the story I was trying to tell in written word, and suddenly it poured out. I do this a lot. I tell it like I’m a character in a movie, like every dramatic scene that’s quiet in which a character tells another the truth. Dramatic pauses, a drag from a cigarette and thoughtful sighs. It makes it so much more artful, and suddenly those spoken words travel down to my fingers and allow me to walk back inside and type them out. It’s always this damn cigarette that brings it out.
Three years ago, on Memorial Day weekend of 2010, I left New England for my new life in Los Angeles. I was twenty-two and ready for an adventure. Many friends confessed confusion as to why I would leave, and why I’d choose Los Angeles, a city I only knew three people in, a city so much different than where I was from. Once I moved, and still to this day, I get asked by people in LA why I chose to move there.
So, Freedom Fest was held in July here in Las Vegas. I didn’t attend much of it, as I was busy, but I was around for a day – it was definitely interesting to see John Mackey and Peter Schiff and other big-shots of the quasi-Libertarian variety.
My friend Judd Weiss of Hustle Bear wrote a great article about his experiences at Freedom Fest. He also posted a number of pictures of the event, including a number of me.
I believe there’s an album on Facebook of all the photos I was tagged in, but here are a few of my favorites: