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Parable of Refueling Sep 27, 2022

Already Delayed 

The captain said, “My powers of salesmanship were not successful.” Our flight had already been delayed forty minutes. On a commercial flight, a simple mechanical concern can often be resolved quickly but then there is paperwork. The paperwork can take the most time. 

 

Trying to make up for the delay the Captain appealed to carry less “contingency fuel.” He argued that we had more than enough to make it to our destination. He said, “We have plenty of fuel.” He knew adding 100...

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Summer of Love - a quick recap Sep 02, 2022

I’m sitting in the room I wrote about last time. Einstein said, “Imagination is greater than knowledge.” This room used to be covered in layers of grungy, old carpet. The walls were covered in dark, rough wood panels, surrounded by built in shelves and the window covered with light blocking red velvet curtains. Imagination is a kind of faith to create in our mind before something exists in reality. We let our imagination go to work on this room.

It’s now got a Scandinavian blond wood floor, the walls are painted a clean...

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Imagination is More Important Than Knowledge - Albert Einstein May 02, 2022

I’m learning to re-love the word faith. The word faith is fraught in modern society. It often connotes a denial of facts, skepticism of science, a woohoo approach to life. I’m experiencing it differently right now. I’m experiencing faith as the ability to discover the unseen, the finer things hidden from undiscerning eyes. Albert Einstein famously said, “Imagination is greater than knowledge.” I used to think he was talking about imagination in the childish sense: imaginary friends, being playful, willing to be...

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The Need for Rest - dispatches from Bolivia Mar 30, 2022

 

After a week in Bolivia, I needed some rest. Several months ago, I was asked to produce a series of mini documentaries about a non-profit, Charity Vision, healing blindness around the world. They help patients, whether they can pay or not. Our first trip was last week. I’m almost recovered.

With a producing partner and two cinematographers, we boarded flights. Two back-to-back redeyes took us to Lima, Peru and then on to La Paz, Bolivia. A lost passport on our team led to another (third) late night for me. The altitude...

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From Berlin to Kiev with Love - thoughts on the invasion and Cold War 2.0 Mar 09, 2022

1983

We rode in a sleeper train from West Germany to West Berlin, passing through the Soviet controlled portion of East Germany. It was 1983. I was nine. The train stopped in a switchyard. My father woke me up and pulled back the curtain slightly so I could look out the window. Before departure, they’d told us to keep the windows and curtains shut, but my dad told me, “I want you to see this.” He wanted me to see communism in person. He wanted it to make an impression. As my bleary eyes looked out the window, I saw a guard...

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What Can We Learn from People Who Make Things Look Easy? Feb 23, 2022

Effortless

In his book Effortless, Greg McKeown explains our cultural aversion to easy. It feels like cheating. It’s less noble. It yields a cheap result. But is that actually true? Or is it something we impose on ease?

In my previous post, I wrote about how easy it was to go paragliding. I'd been making it hard in my head, unnecessarily hard.

“I can do hard things” is the pep-talk of our day. Yes, I can do hard things. So can you. But do we make things unnecessarily hard when they can be easy? So much of this has to do with our...

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Why make it hard when you can let it be easy? Jan 31, 2022

It was shockingly easy. I’ve wanted to try paragliding for years. You know those parachutes drifting back and forth along some ridgeline, suspended in air like the birds riding the updrafts? Yeah, that. Surely there must be some kind of training course or certification. You probably have to go to a class or some orientation sessions before you jump off a cliff with a parachute. Nope. Turns out you don’t.

 

Doing something new together

For our wedding anniversary, Emily and I like to do something neither of us have done before....

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All the Light We Cannot See - the James Webb Telescope into your heart Jan 20, 2022

I remember laying in the back of our van on a road trip as a kid. My dad had put bench seats in a horseshoe shape around a table. This was before seatbelt laws. I laid down on the long, padded seat with my shirt off, listening to my walk-man, working on my tan as the warm sun poured in through the big, long side window. At some point my dad, looking in the rearview mirror, realized what I was up to and said, “You’re not going to get tan. The window stops the UV light.” I hadn’t learned about ultraviolet light yet, so I...

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Climbing El Capitan...again - Zenyatta Mondatta Nov 05, 2021

The Bomb Cyclone totally exceeded what I expected in terms of weather. Josh stayed dry. I got wet. I was sleeping on the outside half of the portaledge, with a small leak just below the window. Pour enough water on that and it adds up to getting soaked. I was never really cold, but wet was pretty bad.

I wanted to stay up on the cliff and keep climbing. I was worried about time and momentum. It was Monday and I had until Saturday, then I had to head back to San Diego. Josh talked me into coming down for a day. We rappelled down the 250’,...

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What Could Go Right? - the Baltimore Ravens - an NFL introduction Oct 15, 2021

We were rolling into Baltimore, headed to our hotel. We’d woken up at 5am and traveled all day. It was almost 8pm now. Traffic got bad two blocks from the hotel as we drove past a stadium. “Hey Siri, is there a baseball game going in Baltimore?”

            “Nope. There is not a baseball game in Baltimore.”

            “Hey Siri, what’s happening at M&T Bank Stadium tonight?”

...

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The Past Two Months - a path to peace Sep 30, 2021

Since June 22, 2021 [SEE PREVIOUS POST: Leaving NYC]

It’s been two months. We have a couch. Emily and I have a bedframe and mattress. We own four cars (because we have 6 drivers and we don't live in the city anymore). I can now recall our address from memory. I’m feeling stable.

Alison is in Hawaii going to school. She loves it! Karina has decided sales is not for her. She’s figuring out what’s next. Eli and Lily are doing homeschool. Emily and I have a string of speaking engagements coming up, so our full focus is there....

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Leaving NYC Sep 30, 2021

We’ve moved from NYC to San Diego. I feel strangely mournful.

[EDITOR NOTE: This was originally written June 22, 2021 and published 3 months later. This pairs nicely with this post, which includes additional updates.]

Early this year, Emily and I led a couple retreats to the British Virgin Islands.

After returning from our last retreat of the season and subsequent quarantine, we set out on a family road trip. The mission was to gather up our daughter’s belongings that had been stashed in storage in Utah at the outset of the...

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