Today as I walked Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard I listened to the breeze. The breeze through the palms and the cypress trees sounded as if the trees were whispering to me. Other than an occasional car or person along the way the only audible sound was that of the waves in the distance.
In my solitude I couldn’t help but to continue my reflections of yesterday. I couldn’t help but to feel a bit of shame for some of the superficialities easily associated with some of the dreams. From that feeling I must take it to the next level. For me that next level must be to find some humility. I find humility through gratitude and learning.
First I must forgive myself for being human. Being human I have ego. Having ego I can look for security, or assurance, through attention. Needing attention I can gravitate toward the shallow and superficial.
For the most part my dreams have been realized and are still being realized, but I have never gotten them on my own. I’ve had help, direction, inspiration, support, love and generosity along my path. My gratitude for these gifts is deep and genuine.
I’ve been blessed to learn that the truly meaningful and fulfilling realized dreams are most often the simplest of all. The kiss of a newly rescued dog, the smile from a newborn niece, a reassuring glance from my husband, a hug from a friend, a tear wiped away by a co-worker over a seemingly devastating mistake, a smile from a stranger let into traffic and the laughter of a group of friends enjoying the simple telling of a humorous story.
You, yes you dear reader, are a blessing to me. My hope is that one person is touched in some positive way by this post and my dream for today will have been fulfilled.
Back in 1984 there was a rather popular poster of Gottfried Helnwein’s interpretation of Edward Hoppers iconic Nighthawks. In it Helnwein replaced Hopper’s characters with Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis Presley. The poster was titled Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
Earlier today as I strolled along the A1A, aka Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, I was taken back to my first trip to this special place. I was but a young gay buck of 20ish years in that year of 1984. The world was my apple and I was taking my first bite of it.
Oh the dreams I dreamt as we cruised the crowded street along the beautiful beach. Expensive cars, beautiful bodies, palm trees, sea, sand, luxury condos, stylish clothes, designer glasses, garish jewelry, massive yachts, love, sex, endless nights of dancing & debauchery, exotic vacations and an openly gay lifestyle. Shallow I know, but youth and inexperience often allows young gay bucks like I was to be led astray into dreams of superficiality.
Yes those dreams all flooded back into my memory as I strolled this beautiful boulevard.
I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced this stretch of road and beach so empty of human activities in all the 100s of times I’ve strolled it. If there is any silver lining to Covid at all it’s the ability to experience such a moment at 11 am and 82 degrees F with a nice breeze. Such a quiet moment allows one to remember, contemplate and to dream.
Helnwein‘s interpretation of Hopper’s famous painting always gave me the empty lonely feeling of lives cut short and dreams not realized. Feelings of disappointment, loss, loneliness and sadness. As I strolled this empty stretch of typically busy avenues, I realized just how many of my 1984 dreams I’ve realized over the more than 30 years that have a passed. As I acknowledged my dreams, I started to sense how many of the dreams of those four souls in Helnwein’s interpretation had actually realized. Lives may have been cut short, tragedy may have struck, but dreams were realized and did come true for each and every one of them. My feelings about that poster which was so prevalent in 1984 shifted.
I never owned a copy of Hoppers painting nor of Helnwein’s poster. I did, however, own a copy of Michael Bedard’s interpretation of Helnwein’s interpretation. Bedard’s is entitled Window Shopping.
Reflection of the 20ish boy’s somewhat shallow dreams as I strolled this morning revealed that the sheltered boy from small town Virginia has traveled the world, danced the night away on the open decks of cruise ships, met and conversed with rich and powerful people, lived and owned luxury & investment properties – even right here on this very Ft Lauderdale beach – in various cities, found love that has even celebrated a 30 year anniversary, sex-lots of sex, lives an openly gay life as a married gay man with a husband, has owned expensive cars, worn designer clothes, has had and experienced beautiful bodies, can see the Pacific Ocean from his very own house including from it’s newly constructed guest apartment in his back yard, has a beautiful and growing family of nieces and nephews, has made lifelong friendships that deepened beyond that ever imagined, has a fulfilling career, rescues dogs, is a philanthropist, has owned loved captained and since sold his very own yacht, has the blessing of bringing his mother to live out her golden years with him as he is blessed with the ability to care for her, owns expensive beautiful art, is blessed with the talents to actually paint beautiful art, has some expensive watches and wears a Platinum Tiffany wedding band on his left hand, grows beautiful flowers in his yard, has been a drunk and found sobriety, helps his neighbors, is currently sitting sans clothing by a swimming pool in Ft. Lauderdale on this 84 degree afternoon, so many dreams…many more… the dreams keep coming true.
Material and meaningful dreams really do come true.
Dare to dream.
What dreams have you realized?
Fearsome and I left my brother’s house in Virginia and arrived in Ft. Lauderdale FL this afternoon.
We checked into one of our favorite resorts only to hear a friendly voice call over to us. We, or should I say Fearsome, had been recognized by a daily reader. He and his friend were most friendly and complimentary. He has quite a nice beard himself.
After a short conversation we found out that he apparently discovered Fearsome Beard shortly after we started blogging on June 1, 2014. We were honored and are humbled.
We snapped a quick photo and thus we have a spontaneous Beard of the day. I didn’t ask permission to use their names or home location so I’ll keep those mum, but their photo we will post.
Cheers to the benefits of blogging and Thank You to all of my dear readers!
To the families and friends who lost their loved ones in the Parkland shooting, we stand with you on this day.
To the survivors of the Parlkland shooting, you inspire us with you leadership.
To all the youth in high schools throughout this country, take a stand for your future to live in a country that respects life, responsibility and safety over stupidity. The future belongs to you.
In a United 737-900 ER
Yesterday after having an incredible time at breakfast breaking bread with a dear blogger friend (or Penguin in this case), we walked the banks of the tidal basin to take in the texture of full Cherry Blossom.
Only to arise early today that we might jet down the coast for a tasty lunch by the southern sea.
“Live Love Laugh” were the words that Fearsome left behind in the temple of Burning Man. Wherever I am may I always remember to pause, be grateful and to Live Love Laugh.
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Damn this cold/flu thing. I started to feel something coming on right before the new year. Then I felt ok. Then I felt something coming on. Then I felt ok. Then I really felt something coming on. Then I thought I beat it because I again felt ok. Then last week it hit. Hit hard. Got a little better.
I had this trip to Florida and I felt as if I was on the mend so I made the trip. I had a good day flying and the next day I wasn’t feeling so good. Three days later and I’m just plain sick.
I don’t write when I don’t feel well. So hang in there and enjoy the daily beard postings.
I sit in a hotel room pretty much almost 24 hours a Day right now. I’m grateful the room and bed are comfortable. I head home Saturday. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better by then.
This’ll get our weekend started!
1984 Jocelyn Brown Somebody Else’s Guy
1984…I couldn’t even legally buy liquor. My friend Kiki kept asking me to shave off young Fearsome because she liked my chin. I could be found every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening on the dance floor at my local gay disco, The Park. I was in an on and off again relationship with my first lover (usually off was with “somebody’s else’s” guy…sometimes the “somebody else” was another guy and sometimes a woman). I was an aerobics instructor and I made my first ever trip to Ft. Lauderdale Florida.
While criusing the A1A along the beach in Ft Lauderdale and listening to this very tune, in a black T-Top Trans Am mind you, I remember looking at the ocean front condo buildings thinking “My, those people must be rich”. Today we own a couple of those very condos.
Dreams, they really do come true.
The tune still makes me dance. Enjoy!
🎵They got hurricane parties every time it blows🎶
One of Fearsome’s favorite tunes.
We, The Better Half & I, own three investment properties down in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. ‘Tis why I make Fearsome go down there so much. All three are coastal and are now in the “Evacuation” zone.
Needless to say several hours have been spent the past couple days communicating and preparing. All properties are tenant occupied full time. As it turns it almost all of the tenants are actually evacuating. Thus this morning I have spent another four hours, all morning communicating, arranging and securing things from long distance.
The shutters are up. Arrangements have been made. Preparations done. Neighbors contacted. Emergency numbers exchanged. Back up plans made.
It’s crazy and we are in California. I couldn’t imagine being in the middle of it out there right now.
Now that I’ve done what I can to secure the buildings and help the tenants I’m going to sit back and tap my toes to our favorite Cajun beat. Hell I might even have a hurricane glass full of my favorite juice!
…oh …and we will be saying a little prayer as well.
Fearsome celebrates 2,000 days of continuous sobriety on Ft. Lauderdale Beach.