cajamarca weddings and simple truths


here are a few photographs from matt and laura's incredible wedding in cajamarca, peru this past june. i didn't officially photograph the wedding but i did manage to take a few pictures that i think hint at the total love and joy that this wedding evoked from everybody. it was such a total marrying of not only two people who really love each other but also two different cultures (there were about 80 americans and 80 peruvians in attendance). i love it that each wedding i go to these days is a little different but each one is so perfect for the couple.

and here is an excerpt from the david foster wallace's commencement speech that he gave at kenyon college in 2005. it's wise, insightful and totally inline with what i think yoga teaches us to do--have a bit of control over our thoughts and use this to give life the benefit of the doubt as much as we can. in hindsight, its also a somewhat tragic speech because he brings up suicide a few times in the speech and then he actually did end up hanging himself in 2009 after battling with depression for 20+ years. still, i think he really does have an enlightened perspective here. it's really good, unpretentious advice for living as happily as possible:

Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings.

They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing.

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving.... The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.