Drunk On Love

I’m not a religious guy.

My maternal grandfather was number twelve in a family of sixteen with a Tennessee Valley tent-show minister for a father… and he ran away from home as a teenager, met my grandmother fresh off the boat from France in Texas and whelped his own eight-kid family along the Depression Highway through Arizona to Californee.

Had the religion beaten out of him, so to speak.

Neither of my parents belonged to a church, and they left it up to me to figure out my spiritual needs.

In that respect, I am one lucky dude.

I’m not religious, but I am spiritual. One of my oldest and dearest friends is an Episcopalean clergyman, and I count fundamentalists, observant Jews, and even a few witches among my inner circle.

Keeps me alert.

I do count my blessings, every day. I had an over-the-top fabulous childhood, a miserable early adulthood, and so much luck along my career that I’d be a fool not to realize that somebody or something is looking out for me.

I’ll figure that out on my own. Please guys — let’s have no efforts to save my soul here. Should the need arise, I have plenty of people very close by who are itching at the chance. They get first dibs.

But it’s late, I’ve just finished a loooooong damn day, and as I’m nursing an IPA I’m feeling the love.

I am so swamped with love in my life, in fact, that I routinely have to block it out just to function. I have a good woman, good dogs, good family, good friends, good clients, good subscribers, good colleagues… and God help me, I love ’em all to death.

Hey — I’m the sap who has to hide tears watching frigging pet food commercials. My emotional structure comes in handy trying to empathize with prospects when I write a sales pitch… but sometimes it’s hard to understand it’s a strength and not a weakness in everyday life.

Trust me — it’s a strength.

I just downloaded “Move On Up” by Curis Mayfield from iTunes, after hearing it on some commercial on the tube… and listening to it just now triggered deep memories that had me smiling through sobs. Part of the totally bitchin’ soundtrack to my life, and my nerve endings are still quivering from just that one refreshed listening.

(Just so you don’t think I’m completely soft for the old stuff, I also downloaded some Muse, Coldplay and Queens of the Stone Age. So there.)

Anyway, I don’t really have a great point to make here. Just that, from personal experience, I know we all tend to let the love slide. We put off that phone call another day, blow off writing a needed letter, skip a chance to hang with someone.

Cuz, you know, we’re so busy.

So much other important stuff to do.

It’s bullshit. The core of your life here on earth is and always will be love. The love you feel for people, the energy you derive from your joys, and the bliss you suck out of work.

There’s so much cynicism out there. So many people who think that hardening themselves against emotion somehow fortifies them. So much in-your-face evidence of the futility of optimism.

Well, screw it.

You can be a hard-ass if that rocks your boat… but I’m gonna meditate for another few minutes on all the amazing people in my life, all the joy I derive from breathing deep, and all the things I want to do (again) before I check out… and then go snuggle with my sweetie and the mutts.

Spring was a mess here in Northern Nevada, rainy and overcast and miserable.

But June has arrived with authority, and while I was outside this evening examining the explosion of new flowers — marvelling that the sun was only just now setting at nine p.m. — I realized I will die a happy man.

Hopefully many years from now, of course.

But dammit, I have felt the embrace of another summer day, and I am drunk on love.

Don’t let life pass you by.

I’m gonna fire up Curtis one more time here, and just bliss out…


John Carlton

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  • Shawn Lebrun says:


    Every time I read one of your posts, I think they possibly cannot get any better.

    But, you always seem to outdo the previous.

    John, this may be the best blog entry I’ve ever read. It’s so true how we often forget the most important things in life. Like love and people.

    Like I always tell my clients, I measure success in life by WHO I have around me, not WHAT I have around me.

    John, thanks for putting things into perspective for us and for keeping us focused on what truly matters.

    All the best,

    Shawn Lebrun

  • Bruce R says:

    I finally see what separates you from so many “technically” competent copywriters, particularly some of the Gurus on the internet…you have one thing these ‘almost greats’ cannot squeeze out of themselves, no matter what they do…you have SOUL.

  • Peter Murphy says:

    Well said Bruce.

    I notice that John, Brian Keith Voiles and Ted Nicholas are all very much in touch with their feelings and not afraid to express love – to give and receive it.

    And it shows in their copy – it pulls you in and moves you emotionally.

    The “technical” writers are missing the mark – we buy on impulse and justify with logic.

    Keep up the good work John.

  • Peter Murphy says:

    … meant to mention Gary Bencivenga too!

  • Jay says:

    John, you are a student of life. That’s all I can say.

    “There’s so much cynicism out there. So many people who think that hardening themselves against emotion somehow fortifies them. So much in-your-face evidence of the futility of optimism.

    Well, screw it.”

    You summed up something that took me damn near my entire 21 years to learn, in a pithy paragraph. Took my breath away.

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