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If wishes were stars, we would escape, just now, and run away back to the middle of nowhere in Costa Rica, and have our little house with the shower full-facing the jungle, the howler monkeys in the trees, iguanas and armadillos in the yard. I would bring Severigne a skull from somewhere in the West, and ask her to teach me how to cut mangoes and papayas. We would read and bask and recover. We would explore new beaches. We would have wine with dinner under planets and constellations, and go to sleep in the unexpected cool of the beach/jungle night in each other’s arms. And it would just be us all the time.

If wishes were stars.

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Playa san Miguel, Costa Rica.

Quote of the day: “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — Edgar Allan Poe

Daily gratitudes:
Incorporating sorrow into life
Holding onto faith
That Champ is coming home tonight (I think)
Talks with Kelsea
Loving MKL so much, which equates to missing him so much

The magic of Christmas in the fading Canadian light. I’m finally warming up to the holidays. The Santa Hat has made its first appearance. MKL and I got to take a wonderful narrow gauge train ride through Santa’s Magic Forest with an adorable three-year old. Kelsea is home. We’re going to the Nutcracker on Friday. The girls are decorating the tree on Saturday. While other aspects of the world are spinning out of their orbits, I feel a modicum of peace.

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Vancouver, Canada.

Quote of the day: “Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens

Daily gratitudes:
The smiles the Santa Hat generates
Protein
Office parties
Hitchcock movies
Warm blankets

I live in a small town that has its origins in mining. That said, gentrification is taking over and the boundaries of neighboring towns are rapidly blurring with more houses, more people, and more development. This week though, our little town felt little again. We have a strong, vibrant, long-standing Hispanic community here, and earlier this week, one of the little mercados had racist graffiti spray painted on it, and the ice cream/sandwich/wine shop down the street had a rock thrown their window.

And we all hated it.

Tonight, many in our community patronized the Eats and Sweets shop, offering to help, and showing support, and then a whole crowd walked a few doors down to the Las Montanas Market to share the love and again, offer to help in any way possible, and reinforce the importance of this family, the business they run, and the community which they enrich.

We are a community in the truest sense of the word. And our art, which is everywhere in town, reflects our spirit of love and unity.

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Community Holistic Health Center, Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Daily gratitudes:
Kindnesses
Smiles that reach eyes
My handsome husband
A beautiful day
A win at work

 

 

 

Still not ready for words, except for two that I’d like to get rid of: Liberal and Conservative. Perhaps those labels had meaning once, but now all they do is divide and misrepresent us as individuals and as a unified nation.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Daily gratitudes: “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Daily gratitudes:
The man dancing in his seat at the bus stop today
Gestures of kindness
More time with MKL
Sharing a family recipe with Kelsea
Walks with Christine

Today had best be mostly wordless. Sending peace and love to all.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.” — Howard Thurman

Daily gratitudes:
MKL’s love and support
Lunch with a dear friend
An expedited passport request
Mr. Man’s paw on my heart
Trying to make sense of our world

 

 

I seldom get political here. But now, I must. Since I cannot guarantee that I will not do so again, I am calling this Part One. If you have no interest in reading a political-related post based mostly on feelings, I’d suggest you go wash your cat or trim your hedges now.

I cannot stomach the hatred and blindness that I am seeing from appointed representatives within the Republican Party. I have been watching the convention. And listening to nothing but hate. I hear nothing constructive, nothing concrete, nothing positive. Just hateful rhetoric. I don’t think Hillary Clinton is the be all and end all of candidates. But the way that spokespeople in the Republican Party have denigrated her, placed all blame on her for actions that are indeed beyond her sole control, have insulted everything about her as a human being, is unacceptable. People do not speak about each other that way. Not people who I want in charge of the future of this country. They tell lies. They make assumptions. Some of the things they say seem insane. Ben Carson just said, in essence, that she holds Lucifer as a role model, based on a dedication in her graduate thesis.

Mr. Trump spent half of his campaign claiming that the system was rigged. I do not hear him making that claim now that he is the nominee. How does he reconcile that? It’s not fair unless I win? Isn’t that what kindergarteners do? Anyone who has spent any time in New York City knows his influence there, knows who his cronies were (and no doubt are), knows about the lawsuits, the bankruptcies. Anyone who has watched any television knows he has based his visibility on trashy, vile reality television – and I feel justified in saying that because I watched it. How can this man be the leader of America when he is being shunned by former Presidents from his own party – and I’m not a Bush supporter either? How can someone who has admitted, in so many words, that he tailors his ethics to suit the business situation, spill such bile about Mrs. Clinton? He stated on an interview earlier this week that Hillary Clinton created ISIS. Seriously.

I am a believer in you don’t have to respect the man, but for our country to be unified, we must respect the office. The Office of the President of the United States. The statements I’ve heard about Mr. Obama since the race has heated up has shown anything but respect for the office. Even the way that the media refers to him reflects this: I was 16 months old when President Kennedy was assassinated, so I’ve been aware of media coverage of nine presidents, and never in my memory have I not heard a reporter refer to a sitting president as “Mr. Something” or “President Something”. With President Obama, I seldom hear the media refer to him as anything but “Obama”. Perhaps this seems like a trivial distinction, but I feel it reinforces the undertone of disrespect for a man who did indeed have true ideals and hopes of unifying the parties, and unfortunately realized that neither side was particularly interested in doing so. Many of his hopes and dreams died when he saw that sad light.

I am sick of it. I will not be one of those people talking about moving to Canada, mostly because it’s too cold there. I will stay here and vote my conscience and see what happens. But I am stating that I am sick of the divisiveness. I am sick of the myth of the liberal media. I am sick of all of it. I cannot discuss it with MKL, because we don’t see eye to eye, and we know we will not change one another’s minds. I know this hatred is effecting me. It is worsening my depression. I should stop watching. But I feel that that is just turning away because I can’t change it. I want to understand what’s going on. I want to know the truth. WHERE IS THE TRUTH? I don’t know where to look for it anymore.

So I will keep watching. I will keep reading. I will listen to the Democratic Convention to see if the rhetoric there is equally as hateful. I hope that in the debates – assuming Mr. Trump chooses to participate – it becomes evident that Mr. Trump has nothing but attack in him, that his political inexperience is highlighted – because to be a political leader, having political experience IS important – and that he does not form sentences that actually have any meaning. If I were a serious drinker, I’d have myself a game of a shot every time he says something along the lines of “they love me”, “believe me”, “I know more than anybody”, or the words “incredible”, “amazing”, or “huge”. Perhaps I’ll make it a water shot game.

But it saddens and ages me to see our tenuous racial, social, and gender unity shattered by people who are watching a bully take charge, and feeling that bullying is now okay because of it. It’s one thing to be politically correct. It’s another thing to speak your mind. And it’s yet another thing to truly believe in equality and justice. Right now,  it seems we are just watching a train wreck, rubbernecking at the devastating accident occurring before our eyes, unable to look away.

We cannot look away. If we do, we let hate win, and it is the end of all of us. I am a little too young to be an old hippie, but I still believe in the messages of that movement.

Peace and love are the only answers. Fear and hatred will lead us only to the end of days all the more rapidly than we would have arrived in the first place.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “”Unless the Virgin Mary appears to me on a piece of toast and asks me to vote for the guy, I’m not going to do it.” — CNN reporter Ana Navarro referring to Mr. Trump (This last part of this quote may not be verbatim – I tried to get it down while I watching it.)

Daily gratitudes:
Head butts, snuggles, and spooning from Mr. Man

 

#republicanconvention #acountryintrouble #notimeforhate

 

As one of the lovely ceremony elements of Niece #1’s wedding, she and Hubby had people write prayers on small prayer flags, which were not actually flags, but colorful slips of paper on a ribbon, and then tie them to a slender rope on the porch of the castle where the ceremony was held. I wish I’d taken a picture of them – I might have, with Niece #2’s iPhone, but I don’t recall. Niece #2 trusted me to take all the pictures for her, as she was, naturally, the maid of honor. Or as I liked to think of her the adorable badass of honor.

Even without an image, the symbol of prayers and good wishes resonates with me this week. According to our friend Wikipedia, “the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space.” Given Niece #1’s compassionate nature and her close ties to neighboring Nepal, incorporating this tradition into such an important day for her was a level of grace I’ve come to expect and look forward to seeing in her actions.

Since we seem to be in such times of darkness, evil, mistrust, and turmoil, let us all take a moment to light a lamp, and send words of peace into the wind to ease and comfort our fellow humans. Prayers today for those whose lives have been forever altered by the EgyptAir crash and the devastating bombings in Baghdad this week. We may not all be of one belief system, but we are each of us one part of something much greater than ourselves.

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Sedalia, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” — Maya Angelou

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
Curating the Cool
Jax the golden retriever
A beautiful day
Mr. Man stretched out by MKL’s feet

 

 

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell where the earth stops and heaven begins.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them,’ my mother explained shortly before she left me. ‘If you can remember me, I will be with you always.” — Isabel Allende

Daily gratitudes:
Blooming things
Lavender oil
Poetry
Snuggly cats
Peaceful passings

 

There were many places for reflection on our quiet side of Cozumel, though I found this one both lovely and surprising. Situated at the edge of the quasi-chill bar, Rasta’s, was this lovely little … chapel? shrine?

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I’m not quite sure what to call it, but inside it was cool and peaceful, with small madonnas in shrines, windows with views of the sea, and a starry map of the island painted on the ceiling. Stepping through that arch, serenity enveloped me like a warm, gentle wave. Most others were heading to the bar or the tables in the sand, so I was happy to stay in here for a few minutes on my own, and soak in stillness, hearing nothing but the ocean and a muted roar of happy voices. I spent quite some time on this trip contemplating my own spirituality, and this was a fine slice of hush.

Quote of the day: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” — Pierre Tielhard de Chardin

Daily gratitudes:
Moments of true forgiveness felt
Greening things
Wisdom to avoid fruitless situations that anger me
Kelsea
My beloved

From the bed in our room, we could see the sun rise out of the ocean. The change in light woke me every morning, an awakening I was happy for, unlike the daily grind of an alarm clock, even though it was early. I would get up, slip into my white silk robe, watch the sun come up, shoot some images, and then crawl happily back in bed for another hour or two until breakfast. Every single sunrise was worth it.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “One day you do meet a man who kisses you and you can’t breathe around it and you realize you don’t need air. Oxygen is trivial. Desire makes life happen. Makes it matter. Makes everything worth it. Desire is life. Hunger to see the next sunrise or sunset. To touch the one you love. To try again.” — Karen Marie Moning

Daily gratitudes:
Adults soccer players under siege by tiny soccer players
Sand
Cowboy boots
My poor baby girl with her black eye and sprained ankle
Missing MKL on days we don’t get to see each other

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