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We are a long way from next year's sunflowers but I'd like to think the light will increase inside us as we move on into the next year. I have found the grievous hatreds in this country, along with the grim consequences of the pandemic and its requisite isolation, exhausting. I look forward to sitting in a coffee shop with friend or going to a museum, or sitting physically present with my meditation group and not just on Zoom. I'm looking forward to not wearing a mask, to browsing in a bookstore or visiting my favorite city, New York. I look forward to traveling once more to Vietnam be with my friends there, or getting in the car and heading across country with no destination but the present of wherever I find myself on a particular day.

I feel like we're living through one of those periods of history that was struck with madness and plague. I think of the rise of fascism and its giddying beginnings and hope we do not see it permanently take hold in this country. I am praying for a greater consciousness that will bring us through. It's not like history hasn't offered us many examples of how to go wrong. Humani sum, humani a me nihil alienum puto; I am human therefore nothing human is alien to me. We contain the whole mess of being human. Let us pull back the camera and observe it and coax the best of us back into the foreground.

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