Two Hundred and Ninety-Eight Beautiful Things (251-298)

To complete this exercise honoring the 298 people who lost their lives in the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, here is the last segment of this list of two hundred and ninety-eight beautiful things about being alive in the world. We honor them who have lost their lives, who were taken from us in violence too soon. We honor their memories by recognizing the beauty and wonder of life around us every day. May they be forever blessed. What is remembered, lives.

“251. The video of the cat wearing a shark suit sitting on a Roomba as it rolls around a kitchen while a woman shucks corn, because OMG YOU GUYS COME ON! It’s a cat in a shark suit sitting on a Roomba rolling around a kitchen while a woman shucks corn! ( 252. Speaking of Internet cats, let’s send hugs and pets to Maru and Hana, Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub, and the granddaddy of them all, Morris the Cat. 253. Sachets. It’s a grandma thing, I guess, but they’re still awesome. Who else would think of making little baggies of herbs to make your underpants smell good? 254. Shredders are great because no matter how bad you feel in any given moment, putting something through the shredder will always make you feel better. The smaller the bits the thing gets shredded into, the better you feel. It’s a ratio thing. SCIENCE. 255. Sephora rules. So many pretty things and things to make you pretty all in one place. 256. Can I just say how much I am grateful for fingernails? I mean, I’m pretty grateful for fingers too, but fingernails are pretty much the icing on the phalangeal cake. 257. Making words up rules. 258. I love that steering wheels are actually wheels (that is to say, they’re round). Can you imagine trying to steer your car with a stick (e.g., a joystick)? I mean, that would totally suck. 259. Mail is a wonderful thing: sending it, receiving it, and even getting rid of junk mail is a reminder that we can still put our thoughts down on paper, send that paper to someone somewhere, and if they live within a few hundred miles, they’ll get your paper-thoughts the next day. Bill Mahr has a wonderful rant about this, and he’s right. The post office rules. 260. I know they say you should never swim in the rain, but still, I love swimming in the rain. 261. Yanni is wonderful. I know, I know, you buncha hipsters. But his music just has so much sweep and drama. YANNI. 262. Roller skating. Not with those inline death-on-wheels disasters, but with actual honest to god roller skates. So awesome. 263. Let’s talk about crocheting. How cool is it that you can use this little metal hook thingie and turn yarn into the most gorgeous sweaters ever made? YARN. Come on now. 264. I’m a big fan of shoelaces (as opposed to velcro closures on shoes). There’s something so elegant and sophisticated about tying one’s shoelaces. Velcro makes me feel like I’m three and not to be trusted with actual shoes. 265. TUMS. Seriously, one hungover morning and you’ll be a fan too. 266. Honey. Bee spit, people. I don’t actually want to think too much about how honey is made, because of how much I love eating it. One of my favorite moments from “The Hobbit” comes when the hobbits are in Beorn’s house and Gandalf refused to talk about where he’d been (away dealing with The Necromancer, which I wouldn’t want to talk about either) until he’d eaten a whole loaf of bread slathered with butter and honey. SLATHERED. 267. Dr. Who. Come on! Who wouldn’t want to go traveling through time and space and have a chance to say, “Shut up, Hitler!”? 268. I love Cheez-Its. I’m pretty sure Nabisco or whoever makes them puts nicotine in them to make them addictive. #truestory 269. Waltzing in my living room is really fun when I’m blue. Or the Blue Danube. Either way. (ba-DUM-tish) But really, though. I love doing a little twirly waltz as a way to cheer me up when I’m sad. 270. Continuing education in all its forms is a wonderful thing. I could be 80 years old and still sign up for a class to learn Arabic. Or knitting. Or anything. 271. Boxing gloves are great because you can put them on to punch the punching bag at the gym and you won’t hurt your hands or wrists when you learn how to box. 272. Landlines. Just in case. 273. I love how the air smells up in the mountains: clear, fresh, like it just came from heaven. 274. Losing my job (which just happened on 7/31/14) and finding out how many friends I actually have and how rich I am in love and support. ❤ 275. Streaming radio is a godsend. 276. Nothing gets one through the dark times quite like a sense of humor–either my own or other people’s. Laughing is the best medicine ever, and that’s the truth. 277. Being able to not agree with someone but still be their friend is a wonderful thing. 278. Paying your debts and clearing the ledgers. 279. The smell of a sunny meadow–there’s something about the smell of warm grass that is soothing to me. 280. The beginning of football season in August and September. 😀 So much hope. 281. I love how little the Mona Lisa is. She’s got the most massive reputation of any piece of Western art, and she’s so tiny when you see her in real life. It reminds me that the smallest thing can change the course of history. 282. I don’t know how but time travel is possible dammit and someday somebody’s gonna figure it out. 283. The social security net of unemployment insurance because let’s face it: we’re all going to need it at some point or other and we’re going to be glad it’s there when we do. 284. Stained glass. Come on, it’s gorgeous and really pretty when the light hits it. 285. Rain is awesome. Sky-water, man. All the good gods bless the sky-water. 286. Finding a movie or a book that didn’t ever hit the mainstream but still is so totally 100% right in your wheelhouse that it makes your day just thinking about it. I’m looking at you, “Princess Caraboo.” 287. Realizing that a friendship is over and you can let it go with love instead of recrimination and bitchiness. That’s a wonderful moment of grace. 288. Realizing that a friend is kind of crazy but it’s ok because that’s just them being them. 289. The promise of empty bookshelves. 290. That moment when you hear the mailman arrive and you think maybe there might be something wonderful coming for you. 291. Allowing it to be possible that all things are possible. You know what I mean? Just having one of those moments where ANYTHING is possible, like maybe you used to be a mermaid or a gnome or maybe you used to be able to fly and you just forgot how and all you have to do is just remember and you’ll be able to fly again. 292. I love maps. On one wall I have maps of all the local parks and recreation areas in my state, and on the other I have a map of Middle Earth. 293. There’s a game out there that involves pushing a rock on ice and trying to knock other rocks away. I love what the Canadians come up with when they’re bored. 294. It’s possible to do anything, you know. Yeah, you know. 295. I love the sense of peace I get in graveyards. 296. It’s a wonderful thing, being able to pray. Being able to send your wishes, hopes, and dreams into the Universe in the hope of being heard… how magic is that? 297. Wanting ever only goodness for the people of the world, alive and dead, so that we can stop killing each other in fear and hate… This is a good thing that is hard, I know. We have so many regional reasons for hating, so much history and backstory, and there’s so much blood on both sides. But we have to be willing to forgive, to let go, to release each other from our sins and wish only peace and goodness so that the killing will stop. And I believe that this is possible. I believe we can save ourselves, and this is my wish and my prayer for everyone who died on that plane and every day since: that their deaths have not been in vain because we’re learning from them to forgive one another and move on in peace. 298. You. I’m grateful for you. May all the great gods bless you and hold you close in everything you do. Walk on, my beautiful darlings.

kids walking

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