this was a good week: the end of 2016
“Perhaps the cause of our contemporary pessimism is our tendency to view history as a turbulent stream of conflicts – between individuals in economic life, between groups in politics, between creeds in religion, between states in war. This is the more dramatic side of history; it captures the eye of the historian and the interest of the reader. But if we turn from that Mississippi of strife, hot with hate and dark with blood, to look upon the banks of the stream, we find quieter but more inspiring scenes: women rearing children, men building homes, peasants drawing food from the soil, artisans making the conveniences of life, statesmen sometimes organizing peace instead of war, teachers forming savages into citizens, musicians taming our hearts with harmony and rhythm, scientists patiently accumulating knowledge, philosophers groping for truth, saints suggesting the wisdom of love. History has been too often a picture of the bloody stream. The history of civilization is a record of what happened on the banks.”
~ Will Durant
I'm in San Francisco, spending the last few days of 2016 with my family, before Marcus, Alex and I head back to Houston. This year was a helluva year, wasn't it? So much of what caught our collective attention was rooted in conflict and violence and death. If you focus on CNN and BBC and local news and hell, Facebook, it'd be easy to believe that 2016 was straight-up cursed.
But I wanted to share the Will Durant quote above, because I think it's a great reminder that despite the sorrow that grabbed the headlines this year, there was a lot of good that happened, too. Good, global things that didn't make the headlines, but should have. Also, despite any personal heartache we each might have experienced, I bet there was some lovely in our own lives, too -- just go through the archives on your cameraphone for proof.
So as the year winds down, I wanted to thank you for continuing to visit my little corner of the internet -- I continue to be so, so grateful that you do. Wherever in the world you are, may you bring in the new year safely and with joy. And inspired by the words of Will Durant, may we all continue to do our work on the banks -- because the banks are where the magic happens.
Happy New Year, friends. Keep looking for the light.
Soundtrack: No one takes your freedom -- a mashup by DJ Earworm, featuring George Michael, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, and Scissor Sisters.