#440: A wonderful weekend away, staying in a cabin far removed from everyday life. When the directions are "go as far as that road will take you, then take another road 30 miles, then take a left and go a mile, then take a right and go another 10 miles and you'll finally dead-end into your destination," you know you're really getting away from it all. It was unbelievably refreshing.
#441: Spending that weekend with strangers who quickly became new friends and then like family -- all in a span of 36 hours. The sense that we are all in this together -- even if we've never met before -- really sank in, in the face of this. They are a remarkable group of people, and it was a remarkable realization.
#442: Spending said weekend with said friends giving back. That was the icing on the cake for me.
#443: Visiting with a dear friend I hadn't seen in 2 years, and enjoying every minute of it. She's an amazing person, and I'm glad she's back safely in the U.S. I have so missed our conversations.
#444: This brilliant piece in the NY Times Magazine on the power and purpose of writing, by Steve Almond. My favorite portion of it: "What [writers] really want isn't fame or fortune but permission to articulate feelings that were somehow off limits within the fragile habitat of their families. They are hoping to find, by means of literary art, braver and more-forgiving versions of themselves." I, too, am looking for a braver and more forgiving version of myself. (Aren't we all?)
I am consistently amazed -- though I'm not sure why -- that I am surrounded by such incredible individuals and privileged enough to be encouraged by so many different people and experiences. Thank you all.