There's a line in "Brilliant Disguise," a song by Bruce Springsteen, that goes: "God have mercy on the man who doubts what he's sure of." This poignant verse has always rung true for me, and in the current world of gaslighting and alternative facts, I have found myself pondering more and more often what it is that I am truly sure of.
And here is what I know for sure:
The brightest lights in any city are in the hospital emergency room. Whether you are there seeking help (as I have been numerous times after mountain biking accidents), or are there with others who need help, the light is unrelenting. The glare from metal doors and instruments bounces off fluorescent bulbs, white walls and white floors. Night and day are one and they both have hard, well-lit edges, softened only by the voices and faces and hands of those who ultimately provide that help.
Dogs leave us way too soon. Timber, Roget. Winston, Trouble, Cousteau. Cedar. Hickory and Casey. Daisy. Quinn. Some good-byes are harder than others. If you are a dog person (and perhaps even if you aren't), you will understand this sentiment: If dogs don't go to heaven, I want to go where the dogs go.
My parents left me with too many questions. I was so lucky to have my parents for as long as I did, into my late 40s and early 50s. The world was a better place for their having been here. But ... I wish I had asked more. About their military experiences - both served in the Army in World War II, my dad in Europe and North Africa, and my mom in the Philippines and New Guinea. About the details of their young lives, his in Louisville, Kentucky, and hers in Chicago. I wish I had learned more about their parents, and their parents. I wish I had asked more, and then listened more.
Everybody needs a GoPro. I'm convinced that each of us rides a different path and that it would be extraordinarily instructive if we could actually experience one another's. I'd like a GoPro camera on my mountain biking helmet and on my rock-climbing helmet so I could take you with me, so you would understand the hows and the whys of each decision I make on a challenging trail or a slippery slope. And perhaps more importantly, you could share your journeys with me, and I could begin to understand your hows and your whys.
Human rights are ... the rights of all humans. All humans, equally, without regard to class or social status, no matter our gender or race, or who we worship or who we love. And I know this to be true: There is grave danger in abridging these rights. Too many people have fought too hard for too long, both here and abroad, for the rest of us to simply stand by and watch.
Now is the time for vision, voice, and vigilance. For asking and listening. For appreciating what we have while we have it. For looking through someone else's lens and for sharing our own. Now is the time.
This is what I know for sure.
Andrea Doray is a writer who is prepared to share her journey if you will share yours. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.