this was a horrific week. we need beauty more than ever.


This latest school shooting (how horrifying of a phrase is that?) in Parkland, Florida has me completely numb, except for the fear I feel when dropping my daughter off at school.  I literally don't have any words left to talk about the senseless violence in this country anymore. So while I'm determined to do whatever I can at the voting booth this November to ensure that future politicians actually give a damn in this area, in the meantime I find myself desperately searching for moments of beauty and peace around the world, to help me cope.  This week, here's what I found:

•  Valentine's Day flowers, bought by Marcus, with Alex's help.  I love those two so much.

•  The penitent pause for a portrait.  I think there is something so beautifully vulnerable when people wear visible symbols of their faith, whether it's a hijab, a Star of David, or yes, ashes on foreheads on Ash Wednesday.  Gorgeous portraits.

•  These kids met Egan the guide dog.  So great -- and so educational (now I know why you should never pet a service dog!).

•  Did you watch the unveiling of the official presidential portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama?  The artist behind Mrs. Obama's portrait, Amy Sherald, mentioned that the dress Mrs. Obama wore for her sitting was reminiscent not only of the artist Mondrian, but also the quilts made by the slaves and sharecroppers of the American south.  Nowhere is this artistry more exemplified than in Gee's Bend, Alabama, and Design*Sponge has a great post about the rich history of these quilts.

Loved reading about the traditions behind the Lunar New Year.

• I was particularly grateful to stumble across this video of Maya Angelou performing her amazing poem And Still I Rise.  Still inspiring after all these years, man -- be sure to take the time to watch it.  It will help fuel you for the fight ahead.

•  And finally, today's soundtrack:  Ani DiFranco's Binary.  Ani put together this video together for Valarie Kaur's #ReclaimLove project, and it's so fun -- especially since Mardi Gras was earlier this week in New Orleans.

Click here or the image below to watch (fair warning:  there's one bad word in it, and the one time the lyric is sung, it's loud and clear.  So you might not want to have this blaring at work or around little ears.)


With that, stay strong, my brothers and sisters.  We gotta figure out how to keep on keeping on.  We gotta figure out how to make a change.

See you next week.