Some days, it can be difficult not to look around at the world and feel exasperated, overwhelmed, or just plain sad. I feel this way semi-regularly in the U.S., where frequently there are new stories of mass shootings, or instances of young black men gunned down by police, or where extreme xenophobia fueled by fear runs rampant. Most recently, we turn our attention to yet another horrific attack, this one on a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. The man who injured nine people and killed three specifically targeted Planned Parenthood for his own hatred against women (you can try to debate me on this, that it’s his views on abortion, or misunderstandings of Planned Parenthood, but hatred is truly at the center). This kind of violence is fueled by rhetoric — the constant rhetoric of those who do not take a woman’s health, life, and dignity into consideration. These are not warriors or heroes for a cause. They are terrorists and extremists hellbent on inducing fear. Though he was the only one to use the gun (this time), this man was not acting alone. He carried with him decades of hate, fear, and rhetoric that supported his mission. Our words matter. Creating fear does not support progress. Love, kindness, and demonstrating that we will not be knocked down by these senseless acts are what will get us through, and hopefully soon, to a world where these acts are fewer, or nonexistent.
This holiday weekend, I spent time with family and reminisced with friends I haven’t seen in years. I’ll share my week and the things that I’m thankful for, the moments that gave me pause to stop and remember that there are plenty of beautiful things in the world. And beauty always wins over hate.
While running around for work prior to heading out on break, I came across this piece of public art I’d never noticed before. I love the woman peeking out of her window, just watching, observing all of us hurrying by.
As the days grow colder, I’m looking at my last afternoons of sitting outside in one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. I took this picture to remember how lovely the place is, and how excited I will be for spring to once again have that time outside.
Thankful for Adele’s voice. Always.
Just beginning this, though I’ve been meaning to pick it up for a while. Thirty pages in and I’m already hooked. The writing style is pleasantly different; its opening lines: “A thick drizzle from the sky, like a curtain’s sudden sweeping. The seabirds stopped their turning, the ocean went mute. Houselights over the water dimmed to gray.” Yay for artistic energy. Yay for new, great female voices.
Thankful for our little apartment and this meal and the man I get to share all of this (and every day) with.
Thankful for my mother, both for cooking me vegan quesadillas and for giving me this ridiculously sized wine glass when I said “Sure, just a half glass” to her offer for merlot.
Thankful for two of my beautiful nieces (the other two not pictured, but I’m thankful for them, too). Thankful for a family full of growing girls who are already demonstrating their intelligence, independence, and hilarious personalities.
And finally, thankful for this gem that I found on the side of a building on a late night bike ride home. Continue to struggle for what you believe in, every day, all of the time. Art wins. Love wins.