1. Ever heard of the Banks Peninsula? Me neither. A normal photo of what it is really doesn’t do it justice, but an overhead view from a NASA satellite photograph really makes you appreciate how it just sprouts up from nothing, this huge land mass. And the peninsula is two large shield volcanoes that were formed 8 million years ago. The header photo is from the Akaroa Harbor, which looks amazing.
2. Really kind of a neat story of a man, Hugh Wilson, who had a vision to turn the Banks Peninsula in New Zealand back into it’s native vegetation, which was old growth forest through a conservancy and purchasing land and letting the land do it’s thing. Imagine doing something with your life that you will likely never fully realize.
3. I read two really long articles while at soccer practice for Youssouf, Texas Monthly’s Skip Hollandsworth writing “The Notorious Mrs. Mossler” and D Magazine’s James Dolan writing “My Father, the Hitman”.
4. The Atlantic’s top 25 news photos of 2021.
5. Tommy Rivs Puzey is the guy that taught me how to run. He didn’t do it personally, but through i-Fit on my Nordic Track treadmill. Tommy has a rare form of cancer that affected his lungs, was in a coma from June or July through November and his weight went down to 95 pounds. I found his coma experience absolutely fascinating and hopeful and maybe a guidepost for how to live your life. Tommy wasn’t here, he was somewhere out there. He makes it clear that this was his experience, and not everyone’s experience. If you want to start at a place, start at the 49 minute mark. I cannot tell you how much I love and appreciate this experience.
The most powerful part for me, especially with my wife and her family losing her brother, was his explanation of what heaven and hell was for him. Again, this is what was in his consciousness and this was his experience and he definitely wasn’t attempting to be definitive of what your experience may be.
It’s not just darkness, it doesn’t just end. And it’s right here, it’s all happening right here, but it’s different. I remember realizing that, okay, if I become unmoored from this body, I can’t go back, and I will still be here, right here. All of this will still be happening, but I won’t have the ability to communicate with everybody who’s still in that space. And I remember thinking how agonizing that would be to see my girls and that they would still be right here, but I wouldn’t be able to communicate to them. I wouldn’t be able to let- But you would have awareness of the other dimension. But also complete awareness of all of their fear and all of their questions and all of their grief and all of their heartache and being able to see it and feel all of it, but not be able to reach across and say, but I’m still right here, just so I’m still right here. The fear of that was a huge motivator.
I remember also thinking and feeling and seeing that heaven and hell and they exist, but they exist to everybody simultaneously. And they exist in proportion to the amount of love that we give and the amount of love that we’re able to receive. And then the hell part is the recollection and the understanding of all of the love that we didn’t give and didn’t receive when we could have, and that heaven and hell exists simultaneously based off of the different relationships that we had while we had the opportunity to express those things. That there could be a sense of heaven. It’s such a big term, but a sense of peace with the way that we conducted ourselves with a certain individual and the complete opposite was an awareness of the way that we connect to ourselves with somebody else. And that it’s all connected, that it all continues.
And that, gosh, just the urgency of now and that what we continue to feel beyond this is directly linked with the way that we interact with people.