Thursday, September 18, 2014

the day i almost died

so i almost died. in a bus crash. in Kenya. it happened around 11am on Sunday, September 7, near a town called Narok outside of Nairobi. that's the picture of the crash scene above. and there's the news videos below:
doctors have diagnosed me with a dislocated left shoulder, a fractured left wrist, a broken right collarbone, and what they describe as "soft tissue damage" all along my back and ribs. i also have a concussion. it's difficult to breathe, and i've been having trouble sleeping. i can't lie flat, meaning i have to prop myself up to sit or sleep. and i can't carry anything. between the injuries, the antibiotics, the pain medication, and the memories, it's been a bit of a struggle in the weeks since then.

but i'm lucky. very lucky. i had no seat belt and survived. the people sitting next to me had seat belts and died. among the people on the bus, there seems to be a spectrum of injuries: the 2 who died, another who was paralyzed from the neck down, another who fractured her pelvis in 3 places, 4 who walked out of the crash without a scratch (and actually continued on to climb Kilimanjaro), and then everyone in between. i'm one of the ones in between. and based on what happened and what others have told me, it's incredible that i'm still alive: i was ejected from the bus and it then rolled over me.

i don't quite remember everything. it's coming to me in bits and pieces and i'm having to reassemble everything in my mind. things happened so fast i couldn't respond, but they also happened so slow that i could literally see and place my thoughts as they happened. it's like i stepped outside of time.

it hasn't really hit me yet, although i did start to get a little emotional when they were putting me under sedation for my 2nd surgery. but here's what i've been able to recollect so far:

just before the crash, i had a conversation with the person next to me about the need to wear safety belts. i then made a joke about "watch me be the idiot who takes off his seat belt" and then stood up to take a picture. that's when the accident happened.

i don't remember the moments after that. my memory starts with me on the ground of an embankment covered in shards of glass. so i know i went through the window. i remember feeling the bus as it rolled over me--which i guess is when i sustained my injuries. that was when i had my first thought: why isn't the bus crushing me? i waited for the bus to crush me, but it never did.

the bus rolled away. my memory has a constant replay of the bus tumbling down the slope. i'll never forget the sight of something that massive spinning and bouncing down the hillside. that's when i had my second thought: i am one lucky son of a bitch.

the bus eventually came to a stop upside down at the bottom of the embankment. i was lucid and tried to make an assessment of what was going on. i couldn't breathe. all i could do was a long constant wheezing. which made me wonder if i had a collapsed lung--or worse, punctured a lung (in which case i would have had to worry about a fluid build-up). i tried to stand, but i couldn't move my arms and every time i stood up i kept blacking out. i knew i was in going into shock, and i knew i had a concussion. but all i could do was sit upright and look at the bus. and that moment i had my third thought: god doesn't want me to die.

it was after that the screams began. i saw other people who'd been thrown from the bus. from what people tell me, there were also others who had also been ejected out the windows but had been thrown on the other side in the field. of the few who were on my side, one looked to be in bad shape. someone came out and asked if i could help. i tried to stand, but blacked out again.

i saw fuel pouring out of the bus, and i suddenly realized that we were at risk of an explosion.  unknown to me, there apparently was a man who came and did what was the smartest thing anybody could have done or did that day: he grabbed the truck battery and threw it as far as he possibly could. in the process, he saved all our lives.

i remember that the locals were immediately on the scene. they seemed to pour out from everywhere. and they all tried to help. people tell me that a bus stopped and the bus driver told everyone they needed to help and that if there was a problem he'd refund them their money. people also tell me that everyone ran down to pull victims from the bus. i know some of them carried me to a van and took me to the field hospital in Narok.

there was also a mysterious man--i've spoken with the other riders, and we still can't figure out who he was or where he came from--a really tall, really lean white man with a South African accent. before he showed up everything was chaos; everyone was trying to help but it was completely disorganized. apparently, he was driving past but then stopped his car, got out, started giving orders, and everyone started listening to him. he organized everything: he set up a triage system, directed some locals to focus on retrieving victims and belongings, directed others to use their cars as ambulances, and accompanied us to the field hospital to tell the doctors about what had happened. i was there when he told the relatives of the 2 dead that their spouses had died (that was tough). i figure he must have been ex-military or experienced in disaster relief, because he seemed to know exactly what to do and how to do it...the funny thing is that just as suddenly he appeared he suddenly just disappeared.

we overwhelmed the field hospital in Narok. from what i was told, we emptied out their entire supply of antibiotics, pain medication, and anaesthetics. i had 2 operations. the 1st was at Narok on Sunday afternoon to reset my dislocated left shoulder. after the operation i was put into an ambulance to a private hospital in Nairobi (the field hospital said there was too high a risk of infection in their operating theatres). that ride was one of the most painful experiences i have ever had in my life. even through the morphine. the 2nd surgery was at the hospital in Nairobi on Tuesday morning to fix my broken right collarbone.

all concept of manliness disappeared during this time. when a doctor in Narok first touched my dislocated left shoulder, i squealed like a pig. i've never blacked out from pain before, but within those 3 days it happened 4 times. i even blacked out while i was standing in front of a toilet urinating. i had to be carried on a stretcher. people had to cut off my clothes to operate on me. i was utterly helpless.

i've tried to rationalize why i survived. it's hard. i still don't know. i still can't figure it out. but i know that were it not for the humanity of the Kenyan people and the dedication of the doctors--especially those working within the limited conditions of the field hospital--i would not be alive. i also think that there were other things that contributed to my survival:
  • when i was ejected from the bus, i was thrown near the bottom of the embankment, which placed me in a hollow in the ground as the bus rolled over me. i think, but i am not sure, that is probably why the bus did not completely crush me. 
  • they say that the first 30 minutes after a trauma determines whether you live or die. when the accident occurred, we were about 20 minutes from the field hospital at Narok and so we were within that 30-minute window. someone told me that if we had been further out (like in the Masai Mara or Serengeti) we would have been hours, possibly days, from anyone finding us, which would have meant BIG trouble.
  • one of the doctors at Narok, when he was feeling my dislocated shoulder, said he could tell i exercised "a lot" and that had helped to limit the injuries, which makes me think that my fitness made me more resilient to damage.
but there were certain things that happened--i guess everything that happened--that have left me at a loss to fully comprehend the events that transpired. i've been told it's not possible, and that i'll drive myself crazy trying to figure it out. but everything just keeps replaying in my mind, and i can't forget any of it.

there were just so many inexplicable things that happened which kept me alive. and there were nightmares that occurred while i was under the 1st sedation that i can't explain. i honestly believe i came face to face with death, and i saw that it was cold, emotionless, and above all, empty. it was nothing. in a way that held power beyond description. my life was, and is, insignificant. but for some reason, it was decided that it was not my time to die.

i'm not particularly religious. and if asked, i have to profess a certain questioning and uncertainty in my faith. i am more spiritual than anything else. but i can say that in the moments after the bus stopped rolling and i was on that hillside struggling to breathe, i was offered a choice to live or die, and i decided to live...or at least try. as long as i could.

i also can, and must, say that the days since then have been a bit of a spiritual journey. the doctors and nurses at the field hospital in Narok and the private hospital in Nairobi were Anglican and Catholic, and talked to me about the nature of my miracle. on the plane from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi i sat next to a Muslim man who shared with me a discussion about the mercy and lessons of the divine. on my return to Sydney, my Buddhist cousins told me they believed that my survival was a result of accumulated good karma from my past, and a sign that i was meant to continue spreading good karma in the future.

i can't say much to that. at least not with any certainty. at least not now. i'm still thinking through everything. but i can say what i have learned:
  • when your number's up, your number's up. you don't get to choose.
  • it was not my time.
  • we live life with a mistaken assumption that we are in control. we are not.
  • life is random.
  • we are ultimately dependent on the kindness of strangers.
  • i am more grateful.
people have told me that these kinds of thoughts fade. that try as we might, and despite what we should, we invariably return to just living as we always do: empty, soulless, mindless, caught in a monotonous daily repetition of the mundane.

but i'd like to think otherwise. i'd like to be otherwise. i don't think i ever was that way before. i certainly wasn't that way during. i'm definitely not that way now. i assuredly don't want to be that way in the future.

i believe. i know. i understand. i respect. i appreciate. i connect. i share. i am.  


and i am aware that i am in possession and in communion with a mystery that is not nothing
which transcends all reason and goes beyond all existence to the core of all eternity
wherein lies the secret that not even death can explain.
a meaning that has no meaning and
a purpose that has no purpose and
a reason that has no reason:
it is that it is.
it is the substance at the center of creation and
it is the power within the human heart
it is what allows me, you, us, to speak that which is the testament of the greatest glory of the highest majesty of the supremely divine:
i am that i am.

and when i see speak feel breathe reflect live these words it makes me think about all the beauty that there is in life

and when i begin to count them, i find that they are many

and they make me want to live even more.

Monday, September 01, 2014

i can't forget you

you know how sometimes there are certain memories, certain times, certain people you wish you could forget? 

and if there was a machine that could erase them from your mind you'd want to do it? 

but then you remember everything that happened, and find yourself unable unwilling unknowing anything otherwise, and realize that no, no, this you won't let go. because despite everything that happened, there's some things greater than the universe, and it's only found in the spaces between the moments shared beneath the silence of the stars. and there was a reason you saw this in her eyes. 

and it's the same reason poets write their words and dreamers dream their dreams and the winds whisper deep from the depths past reason into serenity. and if she had not been there, you would have never come to know the path that led to wisdom. and this is why it is such a sorrow so sweet, and this is why you remain, and this is why you remember.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

leaving los angeles

i'm leaving los angeles. for those of you who know me this is a pretty big deal. i held off on making an announcement partially because i haven't quite digested it, partially because i've been swamped with work, but mostly because i've been in denial about what this meant to me. of course, despite my best efforts to manage the preoccupations of packing, crating, inventory, insurance, billing, shipping and studying, researching, grading, writing and saying goodbyes, farewells, and bonnes chances, it's actually ended up becoming a very emotional experience.

in a way, it should be no surprise. i've lived in LA longer than i've lived anywhere else--pretty much half my life. my time in this city has gone along a theme of constant, chaotic change, some of it good, some of it bad, all of it unforeseen, all of it unexpected. i can say that in this city i've lived multiple lives that have taken me through multiple phases as b-boy, punk, industrial metal, goth, mod, rockabilly, swing, electronica, and unabashed shameless hipsterdom. concurrently, i can say that i lived these lives against a backdrop of a city enduring a time of some of its most profound upheaval, with seismic shifts in demography (a massive influx of latin and asian immigrants), economics (an erosion in traditional industries of aerospace and entertainment to new ones in biotechnology and technology), class (a deterioration of a middle class and a widening of the gap between the elite and the powerless), infrastructure (a return of light rail, a growth in cycling, and a surge in green energy use), and culture (a halting, fitful rise of a world-class visual and performing arts scene).  i lived with this city through all these states of change, and like the city never looked back on what had been and never thought about what might be. together, we just lived the moments as they came, even as their dynamism and eclecticism at times overwhelmed our mutual capacity to take in all the experiences that came our way.

it goes without saying that in such an eclectic environment my relationship with LA was less than placid. it was, to summarize it in a single word, crazy. c.r.a.z.y. it was like having a partner who didn't know, couldn't comprehend, and couldn't decide her own tastes, her own preferences, her own personality, or even herself. sociopathy might be an apt description. schizophrenia would be more accurate. multiple-personality disorder might be even better. it was confusing. it was agonizing. it was frustrating. it was infuriating.

and it rubs off on you. if anything, it magnifies whatever similar predilections you have in yourself. because a partner's inability to know herself keeps you from finding yourself by distracting and diverting your attention with the baser tendencies of your mutual souls, and thereby accentuates every bad quality you didn't know you had or were too afraid to acknowledge you had. it doesn't help that LA offers, invites, encourages, hosts, and allows and enables you to indulge in every vice known to humanity--and then some.  to summarize it in the most succinct terms, this city was Elizabeth Taylor to my Richard Burton; the relationship brought out the worst in both of us. in ways no one understood and in ways we couldn't explain.

but then there were those times when, incredibly, inexplicably, unbelievably, LA would reveal itself to expose the most amazing, gentle, selfless, caring, poignant, even noble, soul. and while it didn't know itself (or know you)--and didn't really seem to care to--it did know something about what was right. and better yet, it had no fear or self-consciousness about doing something about it. and that's when it redeemed itself by rising to the occasion. and at those times LA lived up to its name, sometimes to the point that it became beatific.

like the time your car died on a bridge overpass in morning traffic and a plumber on his way to work stopped to push your car to a shoulder where you could safely wait for the tow truck to arrive. or the time a stranger stopped traffic so that you and a group of passers-by could help an old lady cross a busy intersection to reach a farmer's market.  or the time a tattooed cholo gangster stopped in the middle of selling you his fresh bread to explain his decision to ignore his church's take on gay marriage, saying "yo homes, like, why is it my business what 2 dudes are doing?"

and those kinds of things also rub off on you. if anything, it's then that the city not only brings out the best in itself but also the best in you. it was become of those times that this city was like Grace Kelly to my Prince Rainier; the relationship brought out the best in both of us. in ways no one understood and in ways we couldn' t explain.

the funny thing was, for all the insanity, for all the contradictions, for all the chaos, the very things that made LA so frustrating and infuriating were the very things that made me want it more. LA pulled me in, and the deeper i went the more it revealed itself. even more complicated. even more diverse. even more varied. even more preoccupying. even more engrossing. and i found no matter how deep i went, there was still more.

which is why i, a sworn member of the bachelor brotherhood, finally realized that i had found someone with whom i could finally be faithful, because no matter where i went in the world i still wanted to come back. because no matter what i saw or what i did, i still felt there was someplace i needed to return.

because that someplace was something special. eclectic. diverse. complex. contradictory. quirky. dynamic. shifting. fascinating. no other place did so much to contradict my preconceptions and challenge my assumptions. no other place did so much to prod me to question the status--or static--quo. no other place so constantly made me encounter something new. no other place so continuously forced me to deal with the unexpected. no other place so totally kept me in flux and ready for change and flexible and open and accepting and curious and eager and seeking all there was and all there is and all there will be to the experiences that constitute the act of living human life...and no other place made me want it all so much, so long, and so deep.

i became LA. LA became me. because as much as we were different, all along deep down inside we were, we are, really just the same.
the only other time i've felt something close to this was in Hawaii. but there, the feeling was one of deja vu, like i'd been there before, as if i'd been a Polynesian navigator in a prior life, standing on the shore gazing at the sea that lay beyond Diamond Head, for various reasons unable to complete his destiny to find the land that lay beyond the edge of the morning sun's horizon. here, i felt like i had finally come to belong. that for whatever reason here, in ways that i could only begin to understand and could only partially articulate, was right. LA became, in a word, home.

a place is ultimately just a place. a geographical marker that sometimes coincides with our lives and occasionally, infrequently, briefly hosts our activities while we are upon it. in the end, what makes a place a home is not the geography, but the lives of the creatures that inhabit it and infuse its substance with the actions and intentions of souls expressing their nature and fulfilling their design to imbue the universe with the stories of their lives. and the creatures that have inhabited this city--all of them, good or bad--have imbued this place with stories in a supply whose sum has exceeded the respective parts to become a song of the human spirit.

and you, my friends, are among them. sing loud. sing long. sing well. sing of the human spirit that we all share.

for that spirit has given me life. it has awakened me to things i never imagined, and led me to see the world in ways i never thought possible. and in so doing, it has given me the freedom to think and see and hear and taste and touch and feel this life in ways that go beyond the possibilities of dreams.

life and freedom...those 2 things are all this man could ever have any right to claim. for they are what empower me to realize the secrets that lie far, far out in the vast reaches of creation--a creation that finds itself in the mysteries placed deep in the core of the human heart.

i do not know what the future will bring. but LA has made me understand that i do know i need to see what is out there, because it will lead me to discover what is within here.

deep in the core of the human heart:

LA, i love you.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

on diana nyad

note: Diana Nyad trains at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center (RBAC) in Pasadena, California, which is the same place i swim. it's only 2 miles from where i currently live. i've seen her swimming there, and as you might suspect, it is rather awe-inspiring. she swims. a lot.

this past Monday, September 2, Diana Nyad completed a swim from Cuba to Florida. she covered a distance of approximately 110 miles in 52:54:00 (that's 52 hours and 54 minutes). this was her 5th attempt, with the 1st being in 1978 when she was 29. she is now 64.

just think about that for a moment.

i should note that the Cuba-to-Florida swim was done before by Australian Susie Maroney in 1997, who was 22 at the time. but Diana Nyad's achievement is unique because she is 1) the 1st person to swim without a shark cage, through waters notorious for sharks, and 2) she is 64 years old.

at an age when the vast majority of people have resigned themselves to the lives they're living and are looking to retirement, she accomplished a feat that most people--never mind young and active athletes in the prime of their lives--would never even think of trying. for many, i suspect that this distance is absolutely inconceivable.

which i think offers quite a few life lessons for the rest of us. i won't go into too much commentary, since i think Diana was more than eloquent enough in her post-swim interviews to render anybody else's prose irrelevant. in particular, the short speech she gave at the end of the swim sums things up nicely:

you can also reference her own website and the news features on her:
PBS interview:
CNN interview:
CBS interview::
New York Times:
LA Times:,0,3322544.story

i'll repeat what she stressed throughout her statements and interviews to emphasize her points:
1)  never give up
2)  we're never too old to chase a dream
3)  we're part of a team
4)  find a way
5)  stay engaged in life

these are all fundamental truths that many in the endurance community know so well, and which carry over into daily living.  we can never quit, no matter what, because the central theme of life is to just keep going on. we can never accept age, or for that matter anything else, if we want to realize our dreams. we may think we act alone, but we are always a product and a reflection of a larger team seeking the our same goals. we have to be resourceful and pragmatic in order to move forward. and above all, we have to know that the reason we do all these things, and the reason we do anything, is to engage our lives to the fullest extent of our being.

i would also like to add the qualities of diligence and dedication. we need diligence in terms of taking the care and sacrifice necessary to lay the foundations in ability and skill that enable us to achieve our goals, and we need dedication to carry out such diligence with the time and energy necessary to help us become what we need to be to reach our dream--in short, we can dream big, but we have to be worthy of our dreams.

i'll finish w what i think is the most significant and most poignant quote from Diana, and the one that i think calls for us to listen, learn, and take action in our own lives:

"we blink and another decade passes. i don't want to reach the end of my life and regret not having given my days everything in me to make them worthwhile."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

a long way to go

a little over a year ago i spent some time in northern Spain engaged in an attempt at a different kind of endurance event called the Camino Santiago (often just called "the Camino"):

the attempt was a bit mixed, since we made the destination that is the goal of the Camino: the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and also visited the termini often used as a denouement: Finisterre and Muxia. but being neophytes, my mom and i were totally naive to the pilgrimage and traveled more as tourists, and so missed out on quite a bit.

in a way, this is not really a big deal. over the past few years, i've been accompanying my mom on trips to religious shrines that comprise a canon of the major pilgrimages in the Catholic faith. i'm personally not Catholic, but i've found these trips illuminating, providing substantive, meaningful time for connection with my mom, quiet reflection, and spiritual restoration--all things which i've come to realize mean a lot more to me than i thought, and all things which i've come to consider as fundamentally important to comprising our identities and our existence as human beings. we've been to the Czestochowa (Poland), Montserrat (eastern Spain, near Barcelona), the Vatican (Rome), Notre Dame a Ile-de-France (France), and most recently Notre Dame de la Grotte a Lourdes (also France). so the Camino is but one of many pilgrimages we've undertaken.

i've gone w the understanding that each pilgrimage, whether in destination or in time, is its own journey w its own expectations, own adventures, and own lessons. but the fact that each pilgrimage is a journey has provided a consistent quality that has appealed to me as an endurance athlete. as signified by this blog, my motivation for endurance athletics is for the most part utilizing it as an opportunity for personal exploration via the peaceful, deep, thoughtful contemplation typically ascribed to meditation. it is, in a way, moving meditation, using my body to connect to the greater rhythms of the universe and go beyond my corporeal existence to discover the greater truths of this creation. and these religious pilgrimages, i've come to realize, are essentially at their core doing the same thing: taking pilgrims on meditative journeys to reach the mysteries of the divine.

but the Camino Santiago, from what little of it i experienced, comes closer than any of the other pilgrimages i've encountered. i think it's because it calls for a physical act covering long distances, which while walking as opposed to swimming, cycling, or running, is very much the same as ultra-endurance racing. i can feel a greater connection to it.

which is probably why i can't stop thinking about it.

you can sort of get the spirit (sorry for the pun) that i sense from this documentary from another pilgrim, who i think very much shares a mindset that i have:

yeah, i know. i do Ironmans. i do ultra-endurance. i do distance. already. what more can i get from walking? even long-distance walking? to someplace i've already been?

but as i've written before, this is a different kind of endurance event, w different characteristics from other races that i do. and so allowing other aspects of the distance to come into play. and so allowing other experiences on other types of journeys. each with its own expectations, own adventures, and own lessons.

and for me, this means more personal exploration, in connection w the greater rhythms of the universe, to discover the greater truths of this creation. and while as a mortal i may not reach the mysteries of the divine, i can still do what i want to do: grow beyond whatever it is that i am, and thereby go a little bit closer to god.

that, and if there is a god, maybe he'll finally be nice and bless me w what someone once told me happens on the Camino: "you will find the woman who will be your wife on the Camino."

Saturday, August 10, 2013

a (different) swim workout

for those of us looking for an alternative workout to break up the stale dullness of monotony that comes up w our exercise routines, i came across an article in Fitness magazine that caught my eye. it's a swim workout, but for those of us who swim this is probably not what we have in mind. most of us think of swimming as lane lines, sets, intervals, stroke count, breath count, and a pace clock. maybe, if we're feeling adventurous, we add in paddles, pull buoy, fins, and drag chutes. and if we're feeling really kinky, we add exit-and-enter reps, running starts, and mass starts.

well, drop all  of the above and add this to the list of alternative workouts:

there's also a video:

i never quite thought of pool workouts as a total body sculpting exercise. i mean, yes, i know swimming is a total body workout and that there are countless exercise routines that are done in swimming pools. but swimming workouts never helped w other sports, like cycling and running. and the exercise routines done in pools that i know are usually associated w physical therapy. i never considered just doing exercises in the water to tone specific muscle groups--certainly not w these kinds of exercises. but they look like a challenge and definitely something that can put the body through the ringer, so i think they're worth a try.

if nothing else, they at least offer some variety and a taste of something different from staring at a black line at the bottom of a lane every lap in a swim set. and they sure take up a lot less space than a competition pool.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

the measure of devotion, and what to do about it

recently i watched a stroke patient with disabilities so severe he couldn't sit straight fight to rise from a wheelchair and walk unassisted through the front doors of the Basilique de Notre Dame de l'Immaculee Conception (english: Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) at the Sanctuaire de Notre Dame de Lourdes (english: Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes).

it was an agonizingly slow, painful process, with the man hunched over his curled, atrophied right arm and dragging a twisted, limp right leg. each step was a shuffle of the left foot a few inches forward, a lurch of the body to pull the other forward, and then a pause to balance the total precariously on a single good limb, before repeating the process once again.

he had only the assistance of 1 person who appeared to be a relative. but she did little other than to hold open the door to the basilica and motion for others behind them to go ahead and pass. i thought at first to try and help, but then i noticed that he had refused the offer of aid from church monitors and had left his wheelchair behind, and realized that for him, this was something that he decided he had to do on his own. not so much as a display of determination, but more an act of personal devotion to what he--and so many others like him--believe to be a place of miracles from the divine.

i have not gotten him out of my mind.

i am not Catholic, and don't consider myself particularly religious, but i found the image of him deeply moving. shuffling out from the glare of summer heat into the cool shade of the church interior, silhouetted against the votive candles and urn of holy water by the entrance, he was in that moment an expression of a commitment made to transcend the limitations of an earthly body and become an embodiment of faith to realize the possibilities of something more.

this is something that i can and must respect.

because i know the desire to exceed the confines of this physical body, the yearning to go beyond, the need for something greater. i know it as the motivation that drove me to undertake this life and take it with both hands and wrest it from its complacency and push it from its indolence and kick and drag and hurl and crawl and throw and scrape and stagger and fall...and shuffle...and a display of determination. as an act of devotion. to transcend the body. to realize something more.

because i know the meaning, the feeling, the living of the moment when you go beyond what you think is possible and you enter a different place entirely beyond anything you've ever known.

and because i know that means that devotion is not just about belief and that sometimes, just sometimes, faith is instead itself made manifest.

as the mantra says: nothing is impossible.

so who am i to judge another? we are, ultimately, all pilgrims on our own ways.

so what am i to do to help another? we can, and must, respect the pilgrimages we take.

so how am i to recognize another? we see the nature of our paths as we proceed, and acknowledge each other as we pass by, and remember that we believe in more than what is possible.

dominus vobiscum