What can we say about Daniel to explain him to those who did not know him?
Words will never do his uniquely joyful and creative spirit justice. Instead, we hope that these pictures capture what words cannot – the love that Daniel expressed to all those around him, the happiness and excitement he felt throughout his life, the joy he received from sharing his creations with others, the celebration that was constantly taking place around him by the sheer force of his exuberant spirit, the music of New Orleans that was constantly playing in his heart.
As a writer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune tried to explain:
“Daniel delighted in pointing out beauty and irony in life. If beauty can be found in his death, it is that he lived as if he could die at any moment; he delayed neither pleasure nor accomplishment, friendships nor love. In the spirit of his hometown [of New Orleans], Daniel loved to say he lived life from celebration to celebration. He could celebrate anything. A walk down a tree-lined street. A simple lunch. The way sunlight flooded his art studio in the morning. Small pleasures that people around him took for granted until his example reminded him that they shouldn’t.”
As you look at these pictures, we hope that you too can share in Daniel’s spririt, and take it with you as you go about your life. We hope that it will inspire you to live in some small way as he did – by making friends with the random people you see every day, stopping to help strangers in need, smiling, telling the people you care about that you love them, looking for beauty and humor in every situation – and that in doing so you will find your own joie de vivre.