“‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” -Roger Ebert

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” - Mr. Rogers

Sending love and prayers for peace to the families in Connecticut experiencing unspeakable loss tonight.
 May we all continue to see, and be, the helpers. 

Happy Election Day Everyone!

We've been back from our trip for over a week; we had a fantastic time. It was a bit of a working vacation for me, and I've been similarly crankin' it out since (paid work comes first, you know? Breaks from blogs are also worth embracing from time to time...), but I've received a few emails asking if we're alive, so I thought I'd pop in and let you know we are, indeed, still kicking. I have plenty of photos and lots to tell -- I'll update properly this week -- but in the meantime, here's an important reminder to keep makin' it amazing. Ridiculously so.
Then do it again tomorrow.
Still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,
"You owe me."
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.

What follows was hung on the bathroom wall in our cabin in Asheville. I made a mental note to share it here, as I found myself pleasantly stunned upon reading it. I'm always amazed by the ease with which great human truths travel through time, ever-current, over hundreds or even thousands of years. These are real gems. Enjoy.

Desiderata (Found in Old St. Paul's Church, Baltimore. 1692)

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.
(Let's take care of each other.)

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