If you want to see what a happy man looks like, see the documentary "Bill Cunningham New York" (2010), which we watched with great delight last night (courtesy of Netflix).
Bill, a fashion photographer for the New York Times,
has bicycled around the streets of Manhattan for 40 years taking pictures of
interestingly-dressed people, mainly women. His work is seen in the weekend
editions of the Times. He also catches celebrities at the charity events covered
by the Times.
He does all this, at age 80, with Franciscan simplicity.
"Money," he says, "is cheap." He wants and has found something more importrant
and hard to find: freedom. Freedom to search for beauty. He does this every day
with great passion.
He has always found beauty and pleasure in the way
people dress themselves. And although he hobnobs with the rich and famous, he
lives in a tiny studio apartment, alone, with bath down the hall, without a TV
and with files everywhere around him stuffed with pictures he has made recording
New Yorkers on the streets in their finery. Bill himself dresses in a patched
poncho and simple blue jacket. He eats sparingly and doesn't want honors. He
says he is embarrassed by displays of wealth.
To live simply and honestly
in such a world is a heroic endeavor, but Bill Cunningham, with his disarming
charm, is the last person to see himself as special, much less heroic.
laughs and talks a lot but when asked why he attends church weekly, and what his
Catholic faith means to him, he is stymied. He is not one to explore the inner
life. If anyone can be said to lack a private life, Bill is that
He has lived for his work, and in this--and the people he
encounters--he has found life-long happiness.
I am reminded of what the
Dalai Lama said: "In order to be happy, one must first possess inner
contentment; and inner contentment cannot come from having all we want; rather
it comes from having and appreciating all we have."
#4465 - Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4465 - Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - Editor: Jerry KatzThe Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlightsI like the marketing newsletters from Fons Vitae:http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=8xf6hrcab&v=001FWOIEyOKRSKOkD6WkE3zrD-JGtd4W021b2yZHEoubkxbSS2MfpygUNrAVIuKZ-6oQUJzaFmW2M19mxms51NPTH8wLGSzNgzyKmU0Lts3WLc%3DThe following is from Gerald Schiffhorst's blog:Thursday, November 24, 2011