September 12, 2001

Dear Friends & Family,

I love you.

As I woke today, just ten days before my wedding, I've never felt further away from my family. Recent events have touched every one of us. Someone has taken something very dear to me and replaced it with fear. I feel blessed that that despite the fact that I had cousins on a trans-continental flight, and my brother-to-be was at work in Manhattan when this all went down, all of you are okay.

And now the healing begins. My television will remain off at least through the weekend, as news turns into sound bites, advertisers try to keep our attention with horrific images, and our "leaders" use fear to promote agendas. I have seen enough. 

The only thing I can compare this feeling to is the first time I was robbed. When suddenly everything I thought to be true about my home, my community, and human nature was shattered in an instant by just a few individuals. They stole much more than possessions; they took a part of my faith in human kind.

Now when I begin to have that feeling of doubt, there are a few things that I do to remind me how wonderful life can be. First of all... When in doubt, I hug the person standing right in front of me-even a stranger. Any awkwardness melts in an instant. And second, I go to as many festivals as I can and marvel at this amazing planet from which we all are created.

Every time I find myself at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival or at any given Phish show with thousands upon thousands of strangers, I look around and feel a renewed faith in the human race. For a few short days I become part of a mass of individuals helping, dancing, smiling, celebrating, and living in harmony with one another. We actually create love and hope. Then we take that love back to our every-day lives. And it grows.

Fortunately, Deb and I have been planning such an event and you are invited. There will be music, dancing, feasting and plenty of opportunity to hug people you've never met. At first I thought that the timing of this would ruin everything, but now I see the perfection. I realize that we all might just need a reason to focus on love. The beauty of this world, within ourselves, can never be taken away.

I am honored that so many wonderful people have planned for months to make the journey to our wedding. I want you to know that if you decide, in light of recent events, you cannot make it, Deb and I understand completely. At a time like this, we all need to do what we need to do for our families and ourselves. My hope is that we can find the strength to overcome our fear and join together to celebrate life, create love, and ultimately spread hope throughout the world.

I look forward to hugging each and every one of you very soon.

God Bless!

Frank



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