Letter From New York 04 16 15 Just a little inspiration…

This is a day in which I have been, in some ways, remarkably unproductive. Deep into reading “The End of Your Life Book Club,” I am nearing the end and have carved out hours today to continuing reading it. I dallied over my morning cup of coffee to give me more time to read it. On my way to a friend’s office to do a little work, I stopped and had lunch at a coffee shop and used up more than my fair share of time on the stool at the counter, whipping through the pages of the book. My Kindle Fire tells me I now have only 13% of the book left to read and I am anxious to finish it and desperate for it to last.

It’s inspiring me and we all could use a little inspiration. I don’t want to say much about it. I just suggest that you think about getting a copy and reading it. Sarah, whom I have known since I was three, called me up and suggested it to me in no uncertain terms.

I am so glad she did.

In an effort to be more present, I have been working to see things, really see them, the way I sometimes do when I am traveling. Today is a beautiful day in New York and while it is not the riot of color that is India, it is an incredibly textured city. I was particularly noticing how yellow the cabs are. Have I just learned to gloss them over and not really see the vibrancy they bring to the city’s streets?

These are the kinds of things I have been attempting to notice.

And I have been also attempting to notice what is going on in the world, despite a distinct aversion to wanting to know. I realized yesterday I did not want to read a story about Ukraine. I wanted to go straight to other, less threatening pieces of information. But I forced myself to go back to the article and read how difficult it is for the sick in the rebel held part of Ukraine. There are no medicines to be had.

In Kiev, two men, both pro-Russian, one a journalist and another a former Parliament member, have died of gunshot wounds. Two men shot the journalist dead in broad daylight from a passing car.

In Durban, South African thousands of immigrants fled to shelters for safety after an anti-immigration riot left five dead.

Africans attempting to cross to Italy have died in the hundreds in the past week. One set of Muslims threw twelve Christians overboard because; well, because they were Christian.

In Yemen, where it is hard to keep track of the players, President Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia, has named Khaled Bahah, who is also in Saudi Arabia, as his Vice President. Bahah is well liked and respected across many sections of the political landscape in Yemen. He hopes that a Saudi Arabian land invasion can be avoided though it is looking more likely every day as the rebel Houthis gobble up much of the country.

Meanwhile, five ships with food are being prevented from unloading their cargoes until they are searched stem to stern by the Saudis to make sure there are no guns coming in with the food.

Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island is indicating he’ll run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

In news that I find heartening, the Vatican has completed its investigation of American nuns, begun under Pope Benedict XVI. The final report is quietly burying a controversy that has plagued Francis since his ascension.

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens debuts in December of this year. In California, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were present for the first screening of the film’s second trailer. Not present was Harrison Ford, who is still recuperating from his March plane crash. Looking forward to the film.

In another piece of news I appreciated, the little town of Lindstrom, Minnesota [my home state] is getting the umlauts back over the o in its name. They were taken away by the Department of Transportation and ordered returned by Democratic Governor Mark Dayton. A third of Minnesotans have Scandinavian heritage. [I’m half Swedish.] The town was quite upset about the umlauts disappearing and is rejoicing about their return.

Tonight, I am off to the New York Video Meet-up, a chance to explore some new things in digital video. After that, a little bite of something and then home to finish “The End of Your Life Book Club.”

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