I got my hope back.

I heard it last night, the call to collaborate. It was the creative spark ignited on a grander scale. We have been living a mired existence of late. So much static, agendas and misunderstanding, and obtuse misuse of power - these are things that have been alive in our Universe, it has made me worry. I don't know the people who fight, who scream profanity. I didn't elect the people who wouldn't listen to all sides of such deeply complex issues, when so much is at stake. We seem to be at a nearly Biblical crossroads, where forces of good and progress meet competition and selfishness. I may be the only one who awoke this morning having heard, but I was energized by the message: clarity, someone taking hold, saying we must "DROP OUR WEAPONS". If we, our generation (because, folks, it is our turn) can learn from this, if we can disarm each other, we may do something heroic. I think we can be heroes.

Here are some of the indicators that have crossed my windshield today. For these too, I am optimistic:

3 Beautiful Things, written by a blogger in England, this short, 3-bulleted list is posted every single day. 3 things that open her eyes, 3 trivial things that together made a day to remember. I have followed 3 Beautiful Things for over a year and marvel at the writer's focus. It is more zen than meditation.

Pret a Voyager, a travel blog that picks you up and takes you there. Like Gourmet did. Not wistful, just hopeful. Every destination is just a decision away.

The Home section of the New York Times published a telling 3-page spread today, Best Sellers and Bombs. It is a beautiful, creative collage about what people like (and didn't like), what appeals to us, what we have actually bought through the final cycle of this windstorm recession. I love beautiful things. I collect ephemera and treasures, things that remind me of lighter times. This spread, which used to be published every year, hasn't been written since September 2007. It feels like we're raising our shades a little and letting some light shine in.

Buddhi Mat Yoga opened in our town. It is new and clean, and buzzing rather than funereal. It opened in what was only months ago a bank branch. It seems every new business that opened in the recent past were a tendril of yet another bank. Now it's yoga. Specialty food stores. Places of character and warmth.

Miss Whistle is a blog about life and culture and movies and poetry. This week she quotes Aldous Huxley, who said "it's a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and to find at the end one has no more to offer by way of advice than: 'Try to be a bit kinder'". If we can all just embrace kindness. Sibling to sibling, Democrat to Republican, Boss to Employee just let go. If we can channel compassion, we will commit GREATNESS.

Photo art from 20x200 a Project by Jen Bekman offers limited edition prints, photographs, posters to people like me, seeking images to inspire. The small ones may cost $50. The larger ones, $500. First come, first served. This poster hangs in my kitchen and has been a catalyst for conversation between John and me, also between our children. We range from bad days when we "don't even get it" to better days when it elicits the inspiration for making pancakes. That's creativity. You first have to get excited, then you make things.

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