Thursday, July 20, 2017

Happy Birthday Gold Dragon

It was super hot, like 100 degrees hot.  Early July....not like 1pm hot, but the worser hot, yep.... the 6:30pm hot.  Way worser...

The objective was to move this huge pile of dirt to the back yard and spread it evenly.  Maybe 200 wheelbarrow trips....  This wasn't one of those "required training" moments, it was service, plain and simple.  Volunteer time....

So, it didn't even hit me until I was really into my 10th load or so.... there was Alexa, shoveling away, non stop.  I stopped... looked up and realized that she was actually there.... no whining, no sass, no saucy quips, no sarcasm.... She didn't complain that she had to go... I don't  remember even asking her to come.  She just did, and was there....

I was caught off guard.  Not because she would never do this kind of work.   No, she could work hard when she wanted to. Not that she didn't want to serve, she has done plenty of that. Something was different.  Enough for me to pause, watch her do about 10 shovels and then I took a picture, hoping that something would connect later.....

..... I think I just connected.   With Landon off at college for the summer, and McKenna in Uruguay and Braden off to Thailand, it was just her.  She was the only left at home.  It was if she knew that and subconsciously and knew that she was now the new "Braden", the one that we would need to lean on, the one we could depend upon, the one that would be our rock in their absence.

This was her stepping up and doing what it took despite the unpleasantness of it all. It was like she grew up all over again in an instance.  I knew I would not see her the same after this.  She had crossed that threshold of being a sassy "kid" to that of full grown sentient adult.  A bit of a rite of passage in the most unexpected scenario.  Maybe I am off, but that is what came to me as I reflected on what caused me to pause and wonder.

I must say I loved the moment I found myself in.  I loved catching her doing this, doing it to help someone, doing it for love and the goodness of her heart.  Somehow she knew this wasn't the time for all her extraordinary and wonderful sassisness, which is also very fun.

Today is her birthday.  She is seventeen.  The 20th day of the year 2000.  The year of the Dragon.  In fact, of all the elemental dragons, she is a Gold Dragon who displays characteristics of  being natural and straightforward, which is Alexa to a T.  Other notable Gold Dragons are Bruce Lee, John Lennon and Pele.... not such bad company to be in.   Gifted with innate courage, tenacity and intelligence, dragons are enthusiastic and confident. They are not afraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. 

Alexa does all of this just below the surface.  She spouts a bit out loud, but never announces her moves....but underneath she has a heart of gold.  No wonder she is a gold dragon.  She would do anything for anyone.  She has handled an enormous amount of personal and family change and has handled it like a pro.  It has to be so hard to be the last one at home, having to deal with Mom and Dad peering in on her every move.  Who else are they going to pay attention to?  So, yes, she is under the microscope like none of her siblings have had to experience.  

The best is when I can catch that most magnificent smile she has, the one she hides, the one she knows about, but reserves for certain boys and when she buys cool new clothes. The one that shows who she really is inside.  The one that when she decides is finally safe to show the world, could actually affect the earth's orbit.  The one that fills the heart with one glance.  It sneaks out more than she would like it to.  She has a reputation at stake, one that could possibly be ruined if this particular smile became to "present" too often. So, guard it she must......for now.  

But soon.... it will be revealed, she won't be able to stop it... it has to come forth and shine.

I can't wait for that day.   It has been 17 years of waiting.... she has come a long way since wanting to "slice my head and arms off" when she was a 3 year old greeting me at the door after coming home from work.... it has been worth the wait.

Let's go Dragon... start blazing your next 17! 

Happy birthday!!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Beautiful Sunday Visit

It started with sleeping in.....    I should probably just end there. That might be good enough to make a wonderful Sunday...

Landon was home for the weekend.  It is always better when that happens.  We have a ton of fun when he comes.... it is a lot more noisy, loud and just the right amount of over the top nonsensical behavior.  It has gotten quite a bit more quiet since McKenna and Braden left for their missions. Yes, the noise has become a welcome beautiful thing.

We had a really nice church service.  Felt a great spirit there and left edified, tanks filled, ready to accelerate for the upcoming week.

But first the rest of Sunday afternoon was still there ahead of us... to make of it what we would.  A beautiful block of time, just waiting to see what we would do.

First, there was feasting... when it comes to food, we usually don't fool around.  We plough, we troll, we dredge.... No sissy salads,  nuh uh!   We consume with gusto.   Then, we launch ourselves onto our comfy sectional and crash.... hoping to recover from the pain we just submitted ourselves to.

I know, pretty awesome so far huh?

Today was just slightly different.  We had a special guest.  It was Abby, Braden's friend.   We love Abby.  We don't know her all the way yet, but yes, we do love her.  I think we started loving her when we saw a new twinkle in Braden's eye.  So subtle, so soft, so almost nothing... but the corner of his firm smile turned up just enough for those close enough to watch to see..... yes, there was something there.  No words were necessary... that is the essence of Braden.

Abby came over (*She's the pretty one in the back) and spent time with us.  It was so much fun.  We got to talk about Braden so much.  To see her expressions and reactions that were so heartfelt to her made my heart hurt so good.  To know there is someone that knows Braden so well.... to his core.... and accepts him for who he is.  The care, the concern was so authentic.  I couldn't help but be pulled in.  She reminded me of what true friendship really is.  I will never tire of Gibran's definition:

On Friendship
 Kahlil Gibran

Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Actually, now reading it again... they both reminded me of what friendship is really all about.  It has been a bit since I have seen it so well worn by two.  It fits these two as well as any I know.

Time flew, we hugged her goodbye.  We felt refreshed, refilled, renewed.

(But we did make time for chocolate Dunford donuts with vanilla bean ice cream.   Scrumptious)

A beautiful Sunday visit.... 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Quiet Power

I walked backwards, against time
and that’s where I caught the moon,
singing at me.
I steeped downwards, into my seat
and that’s where I caught freedom,
waiting for me, like a lilac.
I ended thought, and I ended story.
I stopped designing, and arguing, and
sculpting a happy life.
I didn’t die. I didn’t turn to dust.
Instead I chopped vegetables,
and made a calm lake in me
where the water was clear and sourced and still.
And when the ones I loved came to it,
I had something to give them, and
it offered them a soft road out of pain.
I became beloved.
And I came to know that this was it.
The quiet power.
I could give something mighty, lasting,
that stopped the wheel of chaos,
by tending to the river inside,
keeping the water rich and deep,
keeping a bench for you to visit.
-Tara Sophia Mohr

I haven't recovered yet after reading this poem the other day.  It has lingered on my mind and has required more of me than normal.   My brother used to look at art and at times it would pain him to leave, as if the painting needed more of his time.   I felt that way with this one.   The metaphor of making a calm lake inside captured my imagination.  It didn't say "find" the lake... it said "make" one.  Very different tone and action.

I knew immediately that I wanted that.... but I knew also in the same instance that I was keeping myself from that place of calm.  I was the one causing my own turbulence in my own soul.  I found myself "owning" up to this fact.  The poem caused me to realize that it is worth the effort to create this calm clear water inside.  Not just for oneself... but as a means of inviting others.  The quiet power of calm.  How incredibly impactful that energy is.  I want it.... now so it can invite others to find a moment to pause, visit and then continue on their own journey.  You know people like this don't you?  It takes not long to have them come up to your memory.  They somehow have figured it out.... to not get in their own way.  To have an outward mindset, to build that bench to reflect for themselves, without comparison or judgement.   A place where they can dip their soul's ladle and leave with lasting impressions.

Yes, the more I think about this quiet power.... I want it... now.   Don't you?  To find a soft road out of pain.....

Let's tend together.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Courage......Grace under Pressure

“When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy - if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbability of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this easily managed.” 
C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

It is true... I didn't promise her exciting days, She didn't promise me that she would totally get me everyday.  I don't remember promising her that I would be romantic on every occasion.  Not every weekend would be a 'getaway'.   I didn't know how easy it would be to offend... we didn't say we wouldn't hurt each other, but we did say that we would love each other through sickness and health. I don't think this just means we would bring chicken soup and crackers to each other in bed... It goes much deeper than that.  We didn't promise we would like the same things, that we would like the same people, that we would would be totally enjoy every minute of every day together....But how comes it seems like we did..?

Quite the contrary.... I think what we did promise, was that despite the cold and damp days, we would stick it out.  Despite the hurt and pain, we would support each other.   Despite the distance that would creep in at times, and the fight against the slow molasses roll of resentment that would sneak into our minds, playing hurtful games and conjuring up all kinds of thoughts we never thought we could have...that we would still somehow be there.   Funny how it can get so mixed up at times... maybe it is just me.

'Being there'.....  doesn't sound so romantic, but it does sound very "right."   What does it take to always 'be there'?  I think it takes grace under pressure.  As Hemingway put it... it takes courage.

Have I always been there?  Or I am chasing an elusive illusion that fades every time I reach out with my hand to touch it and it dissipates between my fingers like smoke.  Why can't I just "be still" and "be there?"  Am I afraid of accepting what that means?  What I might have to believe in?  What definitions will change for me?  Where do I find the faith and courage to put away the things of a child and step up and show true courage?

I am learning the consequences of underestimating this business of ....'being there."    I need to find myself in it, vs fighting against it.  There is a way to get there I know...   I just need to follow her example.  She has always done it.  She has always been there.  I need to follow her grace...  despite the pressure, and take hold of courage and embrace it for dear life, as she has done for me.

Can I let go of what I need to?   Oh boy.....!   seems scary, like free falling without a net.... It must be the next great adventure...... seems like it is worth it.  

I made promises that I must keep..... Courage, come find me and we shall be friends!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tell me

"Tell me", he wanted to say,
"everything in the whole world."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

In his shoes

I took a walk today.....  It started as nothing.  I had been indoors all day long.  I felt the kick to get up and move.  I went to the closet, fished out a pair of tennis shoes and plugged them on and off I went....

.... It was about 7:30pm and the sky had that very cool golden summer glow about it.  It was warm, but not too much....good warm, if that makes sense.  I had no idea where I was going to go, I totally let my feet just do the thinking for me this time.... It was great.  I couldn't wait to see where they would take me.....

Somewhere in the middle I glanced down and realized I didn't recognize the shoes I was wearing.  I stopped turned one foot to the side and saw the familiar Nike swoosh... "Oh!  These are Braden's" I said to myself.   "Cool!"  They fit great.   That was when things changed.... suddenly my walk turned into something quite remarkably different than what I had set out for...... yes, good different.....

I found my thoughts turning towards and tuning into him.  I imagined him in the MTC, doing the things missionaries do there to get ready for their landing place. As I imagined him this feeling of reverence came over me.  I was walking in his shoes....  Woah!   A very powerful emotion washed over me and it it was important.  I had never done that before..... that is, to try and be Braden for a few minutes....  I felt the magnitude of what he was doing.  His commitment to his Heavenly Father to sacrifice 2 years of his life to go to a foreign country, learn Thai, which is so wicked hard to learn and more importantly leave some very very special people behind to do this... and I am not talking about his family!

For a guy who doesn't share very much out loud with words, I felt a mountain load of what might be going on inside this guy in a flash.  I felt the weight of his love for this gospel, for his Savior and for his God.  I felt his testimony, I felt a lifetime of doing right, of inch by inch preparing for this particular moment.  The more that came to me, the waterfall of emotions cascading down my soul I realized how very special it was that I had put my feet into his shoes for this walk.  It was an honor to put myself "in his shoes", to trigger a glimpse of his life as he sees it.  I couldn't do it very well.  Braden's brain is different than most.  I am not smart to be able to break things down as he does.  So, I pretended to know, to see and to feel what he might but I quickly realized I was so out of his league, it was undescribably wonderful to walk "with him", as if wearing his shoes brought him right there with me.  I loved that idea so much that I started talking to him as if he were there... So silly I know!  But it was so cool.   In fact.... it was quite beautiful.

Have you ever done that?   Try it... I invite you.... go find a pair of someone else's shoes  (that fit!)  and take a walk.  Imagine them with you.  Be open... and let it all come.  I am curious for what you experience and more importantly what you learn from it.

I went for a walk today... I left alone, but I came back not alone....with more than I left.    The best part is I know I can do it again.... and again.  I have a way to find him now, while he is away.  What a great secret to know.

My heart is so full... Braden,  thank you for leaving those left a part of you that I can find....

You had no idea did you?  

Sunday, April 2, 2017


I was reminded today that I here for a purpose, that I have meaning, that I am important and that no matter how small my contribution is, that any positive effort I make can be magnified beyond my own comprehension by forces greater than my understanding.

The world is darkening...they said....I see it.  Confusion is at the heart of it all.  New weird definitions, less focus outward, more inward.

And yet I also heard that there is more light present today then ever before....and that it will grow stronger.  I have come to a certain understanding and belief in many things.... but despite that, I find myself questioning things.  I dip and drop at times into depression, uncertainty, and bewilderment.  Then I find reminders all around me.... little post it notes coming down from above like leaves in my peripheral vision, not always paying attention, then....when I focus I see them, and take a minute to actually read them.  I stop, reflect and I open up.....the good feelings come, not sure exactly how, but they come, mostly I know from whom they come.....

We think we know so much, that we don't need anyone else, then in 5 seconds we can feel so alone, completely misunderstood wondering who we are.  Is it just me or are we that fragile?  

In those small dark moments, there is nothing quite like the right a burst of light filling us up with inspiration and hope. 

Yes, today I heard many reminders.....they filled my tank, at times my brain was happy, and more often my heart was.  One such reminder was to do a self-check.... How am I doing?  What else can I do?  Where can I help?  How can I love better?  How do I get out of myself and focus on the needs of others?  Sometimes I felt like "Yes, I am pretty good there."  and other times I was like "Oh my.... def need to do more there..."

Today I looked for inspiration and found it everywhere.....In every reminder given.  I am buoyed up with hope.

Thank Heaven for General Conference

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Growing up

I have never been that great about the idea of growing up.  I don't recall ever wanting to be big or an adult.  I exerted a lot of effort to resist that unyielding hand of life's clock.  I always thought staying young was the best way for me to make sense out of my life.

As the saying goes...
"You can pay now or pay later"
I believe in that slogan.  It is very very true.  Deciding to almost always pay later has played out in my life.  Despite adept rationalization, the mirror eventually comes out and no matter how long you keep your eyes squeezed together, they eventually peek open, and the truth shines in.  What you do about that afterwards..... well, that is all about growing up.

Have you ever had the experience of making the right decision but finding out it led you to the wrong path?

At first glance it doesn't seem to make sense.... making the right choice should lead to the right path,  right?  You would think that most healthy adults wouldn't get this wrong.....

Several years ago someone close shared with me a story called "The Wrong Road".   The basic premise is, sometimes the fastest most effective way to find the right path is to take the wrong one temporarily....

This story was different than most and I immediately made a connection with it but wasn't sure why...... meaning, didn't seem to make sense intellectually, yet emotionally I felt the power of the principle it taught, but I couldn't say that I related to it through personal experience.   I knew it was profound then..... what I didn't know was how real it was going to get for me in a very personal way.

I recently made a decision to position my career on a different trajectory.  It was an intentional accelerated path intended to get to higher status, more prestige, enhanced reputation, more money and more longer-term security. Opportunities unfolded right before me.  The architecture of the plan felt natural, at times inspired and full of promise.  It had tradeoffs for sure, but when one is in design mode and just "drawing" cool fluffy models and concepts on paper those tradeoffs seem.....  dimmer and less likely to happen....

I involved all the right stakeholders; my family, friends, wife and Heaven.  My enthusiasm was high and probably influenced some of them for sure.  But I thought I was "even keeled" in my approach.  I thought I was making a very "Grown up" decision.  Oh yeah, I was putting on my big boy pants.

This plan was a lot about me and wasn't that entirely considerate of my family.  (Yeah... that is sounding more and more grown up......) I would be leaving them,  moving to San Francisco and then monthly coming back to visit for a long weekend for some period of time until with the planned possibility of moving out there.  Lot's of unknowns, but the first steps seemed solid enough to move forward.

So I set off....I was going to show the world that confident and ambitious man that I had grown into...

It didn't take long.  Intentional isolation from loved ones quickly lost its' glossy gleam.  What looked so good on paper, was....... not, in practice. The shiny golden apple looked more like rust.

I started to look around and felt pretty small..... pretty alone.... pretty much not grown up at all......

I felt drawn to the only place that seemed comfortable.......this particular mat next to my bed where my knees seemed to fit pretty well.   I knew it was of high quality because my knees could stay there a lot longer than normal without discomfort.

Funny how silly man must look to God at times.....I resisted the feeling of self pity, and began an earnest dialogue...... it felt great, so long overdue.   There was much to be thankful for, but there were a lot of questions I now had.

The answers were interesting.  I didn't expect them.  But as they surfaced I did recognize them.  I saw myself in them.  I had to face the fact that I was not really leading a life of faith, but rather, one where I had believed in faith, but wasn't making decisions by faith.  Totally giving up what I thought was best and placing my trust that God did know what was best.  I started to see pretty big holes in this beautifully architected plan of mine.  All the holes reminded me of the 14 year old that was still lingering in me.  I had to grow up....the time had come.

1.  The first clue was pretty glaring and potentially embarrassing to admit.     "Aaron, go back to your family"     I had started reading the Book of Mormon all over again and in the first few verses of the first few chapters there was great counsel given to a family to stay together and not to split up.
I was in a position where I purposefully isolated myself from my family.   I was in a horrible position to go "back"after moving away and just starting the coolest new job.  The overwhelming temptation was to rake myself over the coals and begin the comfortable self-berating and loathing process of feeling like I had messed up, that I was stupid and spiritually tone deaf!   I resisted..... in fact, I can say that I refused to go to that old familiar and unhelpful place.  I found a new place.  A place where my head let my heart learn.  A place of no judgement, no rationalization, just truth and acceptance as if I just came across a new little nugget of data that made sense so I accepted it for what it was.  Nothing more, nothing less...... "Aaron, go back to your family."    My feet grew a few sizes into the shoes I needed to wear.

2.  The second clue of the emerging deconstruction was about where my plan was pointed.  I had rationalized that new found fame and fortune would enable me to serve family and God somehow better in the future with the realization of this plan.    I kept reading the scriptures.  2 Nephi 28:31   helped shine a mirror on me that I wasn't sure I was ready to see.   There were several passages that kept referring to "Pride."  Every time I heard it something inside said "listen...."   The unraveling came and clarity surfaced......   Everything about my plan was about me, what I wanted which then I assumed would be what God wanted too.  I assumed it was what my family wanted.  It made sense, it wasn't inherently "bad", but what it wasn't........was.......God's plan.   This was all about me figuring everything out and then taking action.  Nothing wrong with "acting" vs being "acted upon", it was what I had always been taught about taking initiative and leading out proactively.  Taking ownership and responsibility. Specific scriptures were like sharp swords that cut me like a thousand ribbons..... not the proactive part, but the "me, me, me" part.

When you take the 'me' out of your life you look around and have to figure out where you can find foundation and a sense of purpose........ That mat by the bed become precious to me as the long days wore on.    I knelt differently each time now.... I was asking different questions.  What did He want?  What were His priorities for me?  How could I help Him with those?   The short answer come back as ...... "Faith".

So, taking the wrong road is a great way to be exposed to the principle of faith.  But, for me the road to understanding had to start with deconstructing and removing my pride.

Getting rid of pride is like stripping wallpaper off of a 1940's home.....  Not easy, not fun, and often made me feel like quitting.  For the first time in my life I let the mirror show just how much pride I had built up despite my flimsy attempts at rationalizing my behavior.    I was able to see the reflection very clearly and immediately could see what was getting in the way.  I continued to reject the reflex to castigate myself for being so "bad".  I knew I wasn't a bad person, but had to not let myself feel that way.  I just took it in the gut, got back up and started waking a different direction, leaving whatever I thought I needed to do behind.  Those first few steps is where faith really plays out....  Only then did I start to understand what living by faith meant... it was not having the answers, not knowing and really learning to trust that God loved me in a very different way.... in a way that would never let me go astray or fall if I just gave my life what I thought was important over to Him.  I had heard that principle my entire life, I had heard so many people talk about it happening to them, but I had to be honest.... I don't think I had ever really experienced it until now, at least not in a meaningful way.  Only now did I start to see what growing up really meant.

I quit the so called dream job, came back to my family, miraculously some temporary work surfaced, the prospect of new employment is real and unsure, but I feel continue to feel calm and peace and know things will work out if I can keep my pointing right.

there is more.... more deconstruction, more unraveling more new insights related other aspects of my personal life and relationships, but I will stop here.  This is plenty.

So, not sure if any of this would make sense to anyone else, but I share it as it has been so impactful on my life and person.  I have no counsel, no wisdom, no lessons here.  I belief every person needs to be deconstructed so they can be built back up to their full potential. The only way to is figure out how to get out of our own way, and have some sense that there is someone like God that can help.

It was a beautiful thing to watch my kids grow into their respective shoes so well.  They seemed to get it better, more clearly and willingly than I. In so many ways they are more grown up than I will ever be....

I pray you are much wiser than me.  That you learn these lessons sooner than I did.
The wholeness of my admiration is for you who have learned to fill those shoes so well.  I thank you for your example of living by faith each day.

You have grown up so beautifully and it shows....

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Just Being

It was spring break.... great weather.....we def seized the day.  
I made the tee time and texted Landon and Braden  and told them to be ready to go golf.  I arrived home and they were waiting with three golf bags in the back of the van....oh yeah!

It was completely awesome....  got a cart, loaded up, but not before we supplied ourselves with three 32oz Dr. Peppers full of ice, milky ways stashed in a deep pocket of our golf bags for later (ok, we didn't actually have the Milky Way's but we should have..... and, they only would have lasted til the second hole) and absolutely no expectations of doing anything else but pretending to focus on technique we knew little about, mimicking the pro's with little wigs and wags of hips, feet and hands..... Every swing was like a new adventure, cause none of us knew where that little ball might go.  So, yes, very exciting!  There is a certain freedom that comes with a clear mind free from expectation.....and very little skill!  

I can't lie, it was kinda cool too that this course was super low cost.   One or two levels up from a well mowed farm meadow.

Isn't it so great to accidentally hit a lucky shot and then feel your chest and head swell with enormous confidence!  We immediately throw out the idea that it was just dumb luck and we entertain the new forming fantasy of "tour pro".

Ha!  Golf is the great "deconstructor"  It can reduce you to a pile of rubble if you start to care too much.  We managed to navigate that mine field pretty well.

Forget golf though.... that had little to do with what was happening.  This was all about just being together and taking the time to just soak......As if slowly sipping through the making a drink last for a really long time....sweetness all the way.

That will be all I remember, not anything we said, not any club selection, not counting strokes or glancing at the time on our phones.  We simply basked in the slow roll of the afternoon.

It was better than perfect.... it was..... "just right" 


Friday, March 3, 2017

Uber... The best laid plans

You looked so good on paper.... very seductive.  Hate to part ways but I must.....

It was short, sweet and definitely marked me in a powerful way.
I will look back and realize that so little of the journey had anything to do with Uber, but so much about me, my family and my journey....

How mysterious His ways are... I just pray I will have learned all the things I was supposed to..... time will tell.

So Uber......I loved rubbing shoulders with you.... it was truly a pleasure to feel the power of your cause, share in the intensity of the spotlight and to see what changing the world really  looks like.  I was inspired......and a bit not.
I am grateful for the glimpse, the sip, the taste of something so unusual and fascinating.  Super smart and bright people are just people after all.... Smartness doesn't = experience.   Experience doesn't = smartness.  They both need each other.... Hard to leave as I probably won't experience something like that ever again.

I am not sure how far you will go, how high you will rise.... no matter.      Loved the ride.....