Elvis, Palm Springs & a Rabbi

elvis as patron saint of the road

The road photo was taken on I10 between Phoenix and Palm Springs on a trip for my son’s 15th birthday.

This bust of Elvis, a gift from my friend, Funky Frank serves as a talisman of sorts in my studio.

I woke up thinking about the joys of hitting the road. I started looking through my photos and these two jumped out at me. Somehow the bust of Elvis serving as some sort of talisman on a journey seemed really funny to me. You know on long trips how themes emerge when you’re traveling alone or with others and that one thing becomes the guiding principle of the trip? Well, three years ago a remarkable thing happened on a trip with my son.

On that 15th birthday trip there was a street fair in Palm Springs and one of the opportunities was to “Ask a Rabbi” so we did. I asked, “Rabbi, my son is turning 15 tomorrow what advice would you give him?” His answer: “Use your intellect to make your choices and your heart to give them depth.” WHAT BETTER ADVICE COULD EVER BE OFFERED TO ANYONE? I’ve come to think that “follow your heart” is bullshit. This is much better advice. A discussion about this comment became the guiding principle for our trip back to Phoenix. I let my intellect decide that my son who did not yet have his driver’s permit should get to drive through Joshua Tree National Park and let my heart beating rapidly as he approached some curves too fast give that experience some depth. Thank you Palm Springs Street Fair Rabbi.

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