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A crossing guard marches into the gauntlet of the intersection in the Mission – an old woman but the neon sign is her shield. The children are her minion. And the grizzlied fervent of traffic ceases, as they would not dare to do anything but deign to her authority.

A young tomboy, flannel, piercings, tattered black jeans, skips down the street. Thick, outdated rims hold equally thick prescription lenses and belie the secret behind the facade. I hear her skateboard crash to the ground as I drive by.

A man is eager to please over the telephone. I agree to his permutations. He finds joy in his acquired expertise though he gets paid the same as his uninterested colleagues.

My babe holds a ravaged field mouse in her hand, petting it, praying for it. Nobody knows the natural lifespan of a field mouse. Just as this one does after a few more strained breaths, they meet death so early, so often.

During a pause in conversation, my friend puts her chin on her hand and lets the silence flow past the point of discomfort. I feel my heart radiate and look up from the floor — she is looking at me, and she is content.

A struggling, Vietnamese immigrant holds a bag of bread in her hands. She tosses it up in delight to the rain of pigeons cascading down around her.

Today’s Advice: “I feel that I have had a blow; but it is not, as I thought as a child, simply a blow from an enemy hidden behind the cotton wool of daily life; it is or will become a revelation of some order; it is a token of some real thing behind appearances… From this I reach what I might call a philosophy; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we – I mean all human beings – are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art.” Virginia Woolf,  “A Sketch of the Past.”

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