Patty A moment like this one is not easily forgotten. There she is, smearing her sneakers onto the moist but coarse surface of the suspension line, leaning her upper body onto the steel cable railing, all so she can peer over the edge and get a good look at the deck of the roadway below. Time has passed and the two of us have parted ways. Jesus Saves The first time I lived in Anchorage, I had a place in an apartment complex converted from a former military barracks. He was one of the little boys who was always playing outside the building when I got home from work. We never spoke much but it seemed reassuring to see him and the others playing around. I had a feeling they thought I was an Eskimo. Elder Of course there is no authentic irony to realize the person who has nothing left to lose but the pride of their heritage is the person most likely to invite you into the heart of their home. Long standing traditions have a way of managing paradox, and this capacity can express in the most mundane ways. I walked freely through the streets of a refugee camp in the heart of Ramallah. Its original temporary nature long ago gave way to a sort of permanence, in the same way a camp that never strikes eventually becomes a village. In home after home, the living room is dimly lit and reeking of cigarette smoke, while the kitchen feels bright, airy, and fresh.  Danica There was singing and laughing and that was what made this late morning meal. Anyone who calls beer and pastries a breakfast knows something about living. Then, suddenly, there were uncontrollable tears. The inner landscape of someone who survives a war that turns your hometown against itself is a complex one. She has spent a lifetime working with the currents of trauma set in motion by the world's most violent conflicts. Through constant practice, this advocate, healer, and scholar seems to know exactly how to attend to the things just out of reach of activism, medicine, and science. Ted He taught me the fundamentals of mountaineering. The people in your life mirror your fortunes, in that I consider myself lucky  to have had him as a mentor. The lessons I learned climbing with him have stuck with me my whole life. For several years we had attempted climbs of Mount Whitney. One year, part way up one of the mountain's east face routes, we paused and I took my last photograph of the day. The rest of the climb involved a freak hailstorm and an emergency overnight bivouac on the summit. Others from our team in base camp had lost sight of us in their binoculars and had no idea about our situation. After a long and cold night, in the morning we enjoyed the sunrise, and he told me he had been trying to climb the mountain for twenty odd years. He was 76 years old. Rodeo After passing many checkpoints, we finally arrived in Jerusalem. Our arranged accommodations proved to be so disappointing that we made a spontaneous move to a hotel with nicer rooms and free breakfasts. I remember this city helped me realize several things. That so many biblical stories happened within walking distance of each other. And that her stories never cease to animate my own sense of wonder. We all have people we would follow anywhere or into anything without having to think too much about it. Father and son When a father picks up his son it is a triumph over time. Some people don't consider themselves teachers, but everyone manages to learn from each other anyway. The size of one's heart can be measured by the amount of time spent with loved ones.<br />
Amra and Neil Everyone has the chance to start the big journeys on the right foot and with the right person. The sun was going down and they agreed with my proposition to run across the field and up the hill to catch the day's last light. I was probably the most surprised to discover guardians along the way. As it probably should be, the helpers who help the most are the ones who appear unexpectedly, at exactly the right time. Christina Good stories leave impressions. Her impressions tell a story. Seeing them all together reminds me of a compass. The uplifting feeling of direction requires orientation. She's shared so many of her stories with me, and I understand what makes her such a committed healer. I find myself honored to be one of her witnesses. Jasper Friendships that survive the test of time can become as important as life itself. They can be more steadying and constant than time, and in this way, friendships become their own kind of clock and can steal time's thunder as they reveal a most satisfying way to tick away the moments. I'm not sure I can say my friendship with Jasper qualifies as quite this profound. But it comes pretty damn close.<br />