My wife, Ting, has a thing for owls. Owls figurines of various types adorn many flat surfaces in our home; they’re hidden all over the house. We knew of the existence of “owl cafes” in Asia, so when we just stumbled across one on the edge of Kyoto, I told her, “We’ve got to go in.” Have you seen the video of Kristen Bell’s sloth meltdown? It wasn’t that awesome, but it was close. I took some pictures of the incredibly expressive owls for her to enjoy.
One of my best friends, Miranda has been running half marathons for quite a while, but her white whale has been the sub-4 hour marathon time. Not that it has been outside her grasp; far from it. She has grown leaps and bounds, bringing that time within her grasp, but past attempts have been difficult due to injury and other events outside her control. With a solid training block behind her, she felt so good, she decided to abandon her plan for the Bellingham Bay Marathon at the end of the month, pinned her ears back and said "screw it!" She ran the Skagit Flats Marathon in roughly 3 hours and 52 minutes, with ease.
My dear Aunt Shelly passed away last year. Some of my family finally managed to get together to say our goodbyes. I tried to convey how I think of her every time I run; she was, surprisingly (to me) one of my biggest supporters, constantly talking about how she wished she could run like I do and how much she enjoyed the pictures I took as I ran. We threw rose petals (her favorite) off Magnolia Bluff in her honor.
One of my favorite bands, The Radio Dept., released a protest album late last year in reaction to the rise of far-right, faux-populist politics in Sweden. One of the tracks, Sloboda Narodu, refers to the Yugoslav partisan rallying cry from World War II: Death to fascism, freedom to the people! I reflected on that sentiment repeatedly today.
Today, I marched with my wife - an American woman with Chinese immigrant parents - joining millions around the world (and more than 120,000 in Seattle) in a show of support for people like her, her family, and countless others being been told: immigrants aren't welcome here; your health, safety, and well being are trumped by the desires of the wealthy; and, in a truly surreal twist, that truth is relative.
The pictures below are what I saw on the streets of Seattle. Reflecting on the powerful joy I saw in my sisters and brothers today fills me with hope for the future and pride in my neighbors.