Merry Christmas 2016

However you choose to celebrate it…happy winter solstice!

"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms." — Proverb
Something I've learned over the years: When in doubt…do stuff. Just start moving, it's amazing what starts to become clear when you do.
If it comes from deep inside you, you don't need to ask anyone whether or not it's good. The question becomes mostly irrelevant.
"Be grateful for every hour, and accept what it brings." — Henry David Thoreau

New-Old Cassette Deck

Just acquired: A beautiful Akai GX-M30 cassette deck. Manufactured in 1979, purchased from the original owner for $30. Functions perfectly, sounds fantastic—time to pull out the old mix tapes!


Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.

From "The Four Quartets" by T. S. Eliot
"Wisdom lies in correctly discerning where we are free to mold reality according to our wishes and where we must accept the unalterable with tranquility." – Alain de Botton

Problems of Scale

Last night, while flying home at fairly low altitude, the Midwest rural landscape appeared as a beautiful painting, lit by the low-hanging sun. One particular moment, I looked down to see a solitary tree casting a long shadow across a curving dirt road and onto a plowed field. The colors, the shadow, the location of the tree, the exact composition of lines—altogether it was beautiful.

Though this spot couldn't be more than 80 miles from where I lived, in all likelihood I would finish my life without ever visiting this particular point on Earth. How would I ever find it? There was nothing particularly notable about the location. Once again, the profound huge-ness of our world had struck me.

Staring Out The Window

Yesterday I spent the day on a field trip with my daughter's fourth grade class. It was a great day. On the bus ride home, my daughter decided to sit one row behind me (piling in with her friends), so I had a few minutes of free time. Taking advantage of this, I—of course—decided to spend the next half-hour staring out the window.

What I learned was this: I quite enjoy staring out the window. In our family, I'm usually the driver, so I'm looking ahead. But I enjoy staring out the window so much, I could do it all day. Have you ever *really* focused on the stuff you see as a passenger? Every car, every house, every person—they all have a story. Every object, every thing—designed by someone.

There are so many fascinating details and so many stories out there, no one ever has an excuse to be bored. I think that's why I'm a real estate developer. I'm fascinated by how people live and work, and enjoy creating spaces for them to do so.

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The Complex Task of Directing One's Life

"Socrates compared living without thinking systematically to practising an activity like pottery or shoemaking without following or even knowing of technical procedures. One would never imagine that a good pot or shoe could result from intuition alone; why then assume that the more complex task of directing one's life could be undertaken without any sustained reflection on premises or goals?"