Network Newsletter, June 2020

Photo of Lady Cardinal by Katheryn Laible

“What I really would like said about me is that I dared to love. By love, I mean that condition in the human spirit so profound it encourages us to develop courage and build bridges, and then to trust those bridges and cross the bridges in attempts to reach other human beings.”

                                                                ~ Maya Angelou

An Affirmation

Rght now there are so many people in utter anguish at the ills that they can hardly see straight.

So many people of all kiths and kinds only want what’s right. We may not always understand each other. We may have much to learn, to reconcile, to heal…but so many only want what’s right.

Right now, there are so many people risking their lives in so many ways because they care so deeply about trying to make things right.

And then there are those doing things we just don’t understand… It only takes a bare, mean few hell-bent on ruining things for everyone to send us all into chaos. Maybe some are ill, maybe some are broken, maybe some are dangerous fools or outright evil…but even at that final extreme…We do not understand…Who wins at this? What is the prize? Especially now, when
so much is at stake?

Better question: How do we overcome?

The only answer we know is to uplift those who endeavor toward truth and love, and who kindle humble faith that it’s worth the endeavor. May they succeed beyond our wildest dreams…

For all who do: Thank you. We give you our best. On beyond that, We pray.


If you’d like to support the Synchronicity Network Newsletter, you may do so here. This publication serves and celebrates folks who care for art, science and the common good on LI and beyond, aiming to increase the quantity and quality of community engagement. As always, we love to hear from you, and welcome your submissions and feedback.

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

Follow the Phoenix: Still We Rise

To fellow white people who want to help: Please, first listen. This is what we hear. More with the most at stake have a lot more to say. Please honor them. We know we still have much to learn… Our hearts break and our minds race at what is happening in our Nation; to witness our longest simmering disease now raging in a fever that renders the viral pandemic that’s been all we could think about all but forgotten. We are mindful that this is THIS, singular in its twisted trauma. Still, we are also mindful that the plague of hate and contempt of fellow man is not limited to sanctioned targets; that this disease does not exist in isolation. In thinking about this, we are reminded of so many black leaders intent on guiding everyone to higher ground…

BTW…here was a really great piece from WNYC’s “All of That” which gives guidance on protesting safely.

Photo of Trudy & Craig

The Adventures of Craig & Trudy, Chapter 3: Lessons in Community Trusteeship, The Huntington Township Chamber Foundation

Craig and Trudy are back, remembering dedicated community leaders and good works they did that in many ways served as a foundation for the Leadership Program that was yet to come. It’s a nice story that helps illustrate what Community Trusteeship is all about. Read More.

Photo Provided by Roger Tilles

A Man on a Mission: NYS Regent Roger Tilles

It was his passion for the arts, his appreciation for teachers, and his firm belief grounded in personal experience that the arts are fundamental to a good education that first led us to be intrigued by Roger Tilles. We got to sit down with him a million years ago last December. While so much has changed since then, we believe what he had to say remains relevant, perhaps even moreso than it was. Read it here…

Dudley Music at Coltrane Day 2019. Photo by Katheryn Laible

Speaking of Appreciation for Art and Great Teachers...

Part of that article with Roger Tilles talks about the power of dedicated teachers. This reminded us of a discussion we had with two incredible local artists, Diego Garcia and Dudley Salmon, who are among those featured in the Huntington Arts Council ” DEC the Walls Exhibition”

Check it out. It’s amazing.

We met Dudley through the local endeavor to advance the legacy of John & Alice Coltrane, and then he and Diego together when he was performing at another volunteer’s gallery opening. It was a deep and meaningful conversation. We will be following up!

One interesting note: While the musician is deeply grateful for his art teachers, the inspiration Dudley really wanted to talk about was his biology teacher…

Fair Media Council Logo

Tips for Navigating News Today, "The Latest," How Can FMC Help You?

We are grateful for all who are dedicated to advancing the integrity of journalism, and helping us all be smarter, wiser consumers. Our sponsors at the Fair Media Council specialize in this.

Here is some good advice they offered on navigating the news today.

We also appreciate these archives of “The Latest” Jaci Clement’s commentary on media and culture.

If you have a few minutes, they’d love to hear from you. Here’s a quick, painless, seven-question survey to find out how FMC can help you and your organization be as successful as possible in the new normal.

BTW…Check on your local paper, will you? They need us and we need them. If you have the means, now is the time to advertise…not only are times like these hailed as the best time to reach out to the masses, these folks could REALLY use our ad dollars.

Our thoughts on that were fueled by this article by Steven Waldman and Charles Sennott in The Atlantic (which has taken its own big hits lately) “The Coronavirus is Killing Local News”, and Mark Bowden’s piece in the same publication “Small Towns Won’t Know They’re Infected Until Too Late”
Having experienced news deserts first hand, we have long been grateful for LI’s wealth of local media (and the local nature of some of the world’s most esteemed publications). They’re not immune to this either, though. Please support them. It’s important.

The Firefly Artists Logo
Image of found object sculpture honoring teachers by Firefly Beth Atkinson

A Royal Stitchery Commendation, Motherhood Distinguished Service Medal and Cultivation Cornerstone Citation are among the beautiful found-object medals crafted by Firefly Beth Atkinson

Firefly Lights!!!

Fireflies light up our life! We have long appreciated artist among artists Beth Atkinson’s honoring of materials and her gift for found-object sculpture. Now, she’s applied that craft as gifts to honor those we appreciate during the the Great Quarantine of 2020.

Beth offers credit and a great resource for the idea: “My daughter Katie May, an incredible art teacher found a website to inspire her students to make art. She inspired me too! The idea is to create Medals of Honor for “whomever (or whatever) you feel moved to express gratitude to at this moment: your grocery bagger, delivery driver, medical personnel, DJ, dance instructor, poet, beloved book, favorite vegetable, cookie recipe, song, movie, toothbrush, friend…check out the website:

Art Yard page of “Order of Everyday Humans Distinguished Medal Awards”

You can see Beth’s own process for making one of her medals here.

Please feel free to bestow these heartfelt Medals for COVID-Era Meritorial Service upon the walls of those you are grateful for. More will be added as just the right pieces come into place.

We’d love to see what you create, too!!!


Honoring Long Island’s Best Young Artists:

We at the Firefly were also honored to be able to offer some modest scholarships — The “Firefly Artists Next Generation Award” — as part of the Long Island’s Best 2020 Virtual Reception and Awards Ceremony hosted by the Heckscher Musum.

Our honorees were Maya Alschuler-Pierce of Valley Stream South H.S. for her charcoal “Two As One.”

and Katarina Kobetitsch of Hicksville H.S. for her digital photography, “Hosta Leaf Study #1”

The Heckscher expanded this program to 100 works in honor of it’s own centennial. These kids did not let them down. They’re ALL amazing — and we can’t wait to be able to show some of these works in person ourselves!

Check out our website,  The Firefly Artists facebook page, and our brand new group, The Firefly Artists Gallery & Community Square, where our artists can speak for themselves and post art for sale! Let us know if you want to sign up for the Firefly Lights Newsletter.

Photo of graduate by Terrence Thomas on Unsplash.

Congrats Grads. Thank you Teachers.

We see Harborfields High School putting photos of its entire graduating class along Pulaski Road, We’ve appreciated the William Floyd School District honoring its grads on Facebook. We are grateful Syosset High School will spend two full days to safely offering a graduation ceremony.

We know this is just a little bit of the effort being made to make up for so many who are missing out on all the fun of being a senior; who have instead had to navigate the second most exceptionally challenging roll out of an education transformation in their lifetimes; and who are now facing extraordinary uncertainty regarding how their next chapter will play out.

We want to hug them all.

We are also thinking of the teachers who have done so much to make that education transition happen. This is not how they wanted their creativity finally unleashed again! We think of too many tears shed, while missing out on getting to get misty eyed over the kids they’ve shepherded to this moment. We are thinking of a beloved teacher retiring this year who, instead of getting to celebrate it, got to wave to a few of her students and parents as she helped out at a no-touch pick up of locker contents.

EdSurge offers What Teachers Wish The Public Knew About Their Jobs During COVID-19

From Long Island Weekly: Above and Beyond: Long Island Teachers Step Up During Coronavirus

Newsday reports of how Long Island Celebrates Class of 2020 with Lawn Signs, Parades, Senior ‘Adoptions’ and More.

News 12 LI Covers Schools Lighting Up to Honor the Class of 2020

Insider’s got 20 Facts about the Class of 2020 That will Blow Your Mind

E-News offers Every Celebrity Celebrating the Class of 2020

John Krasinski’s Some Good News hosted these amazing quarantine commencement conversations.

Here is Business Insiders list of The Best Commencement Speeches of All Time.

The Muse offers Five Commencement Speeches to Inspire You

To those Graduating: All our best for whatever comes next. We wish you all the greatest of success.

Support Your Local Ecology!

Our dear Beth Fiteni of Green Inside and Out was recently sharing word of a native plant, pollinator, and organic lawn care webinar organized by the North Fork Environmental Council.

Though the event passed, she says it was really informative and encourages folks to keep checking the NFEC Facebook page and the NFEC YouTube Channel for all the great resources they plan to share. She looks forward to offering the full video herself on the Green Inside and Out Facebook page once it is ready to go!

Meanwhile, Beth offers some basic tips for an organic yard:

    Avoid toxic pesticide use; instead use natural, non-synthetic fertilizers and compost to feed the soil.
    Mow higher to shade out weed seeds and ask for natural pest control products at your nursery.
    Choose native plants that require less maintenance- Check out the Long Island Native Plant Initiative for species best suited to our region.

The LINP is just one resource mentioned in the collection of Earth-and-Local-Ecology Friendly Landscaping Resources. that we ourselves compiled a few years ago. Grateful to all who contributed to it (send us more!) We’re still referring to it regularly!

One we will add soon is, which Beth recommends as a great LI company that participated in the NFEC webinar. There, they taught about various types of bees and where they live so we can create suitable places for them in our own yards.

Images provided by Pal-O-Mine Equestrian

Frontline Heroes Wellness Program

Please share this opportunity with first responders and medical professionals who could really use to experience a place of refuge with nature and animals!!!!

You can learn all about the work Pal-O-Mine Equestrian does on their website, or by checking out this article we wrote with them last year, “Pal-O-Mine Equestrian Harnesses the Healing Power of Horses.”

Honestly, we feel better just thinking about their loving, healing, caring farm! Now, they are offering complimentary wellness experiences for medical professionals and first responders on their 13-acre working farm.

Sessions may include reiki, mindfulness, and horsemanship. Every experience involves the horses and other farm animals. Sessions are run by licensed social workers, reiki masters, and certified equine specialists.

The well-known benefits of being in nature include reduced stress while providing a sense of calm, connection, and solace. It has been proven that animals and nature together help lower heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension.

For more information or to schedule a wellness session, please email Carol Ann at or call her at 631-348-1389.

Main Street News is a Must-Read

We’ve said it before, we’re going to keep saying it:


Vision Long Island and the Long Island Main Street Alliance publish the Main Street News. This is a grounded, productive, community-oriented force for those who care about the economic aspects of the COVID-19 crisis. It’s sobering, comprehensive and helpful.

While these issues are bursting with a broad range of information and resources, some key issues lately involve strong advocacy for local leadership, particularly in terms of local zoning, helping local businesses prepare for reopening, and focusing on the need and what’s being done to help folks meet basic human needs.

There’s some substantive good news in there, too.

Check out their website. Follow their Facebook.

Vision is one of our strongest advocates for Long Island downtowns, and has been generally connecting diverse local stakeholders to learn and work together for the betterment of our communities for over 20 years. We strongly believe they are a huge reason why there’s as much healthy communication and collaboration in the name of true public service and community development on Long Island as there is today. We are grateful to call them a sponsor.

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

The Need Is Great. Thank You to All Endeavoring to Serve.

We’ve got to be honest: We really wish we didn’t live in a society where a few folks have more than is, quite frankly, conceivable while most other people work ridiculous hours, can’t afford to save for rainy days and regularly feel like they have to decide between gambling with their health and paying their bills.

It would be nice if we could spend more time with our families, lay low for a while and focus on the essentials without being terrified of losing entire livelihoods, including so many small businesses that are keys to what make a community special.

We are grateful, at least, that while the system doesn’t seem prepared for a pandemic — and we’ve heard that many small food pantries have been shut down — a multitude of dedicated locals remain committed to making sure everyone gets fed.

Cooperation LI is a remarkable resource of local organizations that recently sprang up. It “brings together community-based organizations, base-building groups, service non-profits, jail advocates, immigrant rights groups, reproductive healthcare providers, faith organizations, and other community leaders to identify and support the diverse needs of the Long Island community, while centering the needs of traditionally marginalized communities..”

Then there are the major entities working to help keep people fed:

The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network): “addresses the issues of hunger and homelessness on Long Island by providing food, shelter, long-term housing, and supportive services in a dignified and respectful manner for those who seek our help.” Here’s their COVID-19 Plan and how to help.

Island Harvest: “Providing food and services for people who are hungry, and a voice for people who are in need. Island Harvest is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island.” Here’s a local pantry list they offer.

LI Cares: “Founded by the late Harry Chapin, Long Island Cares brings together all available resources for the benefit of the hungry and food insecure on Long Island and, to the best of our ability, provides for the humanitarian needs of our community. Our goals are to improve food security for families, sponsor programs that help families achieve self-sufficiency, and educate the general public about the causes and consequences of hunger on Long Island.” Here’s their food pantry list.

Then there are so many smaller groups that have a profound impact on their community. Here are just a few other endeavors we’ve seen. We encourage you to see what’s going on in your community!

Neighbors Supporting Neighbors in Babylon, which was founded in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and continues to help tremendously, recently offered this on their Facebook Page: “Time spent this morning reflecting on the past 12 weeks, realizing tomorrow is June 1st!! In 12 weeks we have gone from feeding 250 people a day to feeding 1700 people a day!

With the support and dedication of Island Harvest, our amazing team and an even more amazing community, we have been able to adapt, grow and change to meet the growing need of the families in our community. Each week the need grows as more families and senior citizens from all over the Town of Babylon and beyond look for a little extra support. The team spends countless hours figuring out how make it all work. Fridays we all exhale, knowing we made it one more week, amazed that we were able to distribute groceries to 550 families in 2 hours!! Then the anxiousness builds as we all look around at our depleted supplies and try to figure out how can we make it through one more week.

Somehow we know we will be able to do it! We know we will be able to do it because of all of you!! Thank you to everyone that continues to support us. We can use non-perishable and perishable donations – sauce, canned meats, beans, rice, canned vegetables, fruit cups, snacks!! We can use gently used children’s and young adult books. Donations can be dropped off at the high school Monday- Friday 10-12. If you would like to make a cash donation, checks can be written to Neighbors Supporting Neighbors Babylon and mailed to 24 Gamecock Lane Babylon 11702 or Venmo @NeighborsSupporting-Neighbors

The Mastic Beach Ambulance Company has been an amazing page to follow. They’ve answered over 900 calls this year, figured out how to also help with food drives, and also manage to help folks prepare for other emergencies that won’t stop just because a pandemic has come to town.

“Photos of Lizzy and Katie by Katheryn Laible. Photos of masks and boxes of food provided by Masks and Beyond

Masks and Potatoes - Grateful!!!

We’ve mentioned our love of mask-makers before, and how grateful we are that in the face of a tremendous challenge so many have stepped up to hand-craft kind and often quite beautiful solutions. We’ve also been giving great thanks for all endeavoring to address other huge human service challenges, especially hunger.

Katie and her family got their own first masks as a gift from a fellow Scout parent, Haili Gao, the founder of “Masks and Beyond” in Syosset. Haili’s now partnered with others, including another Scout Parent, Donna Zaino who runs the food pantry out of St. Edwards Church in Syosset.

Now, they’re selling the masks for $10 a piece (2 for $15), and using the money to buy food to fill the Pantry!

“Thank you to BCW families, St Edwards Parishioners, and all others who supported our cause, we have reached $1000 sale as of today! We have delivered total of almost 400 pounds of food to the food pantry in three weeks! We now have masculine print masks!”

To purchase masks to support the St. Edwards Food Pantry, please email Haili at or text her at 516-668-1730.

"Blessing Box: Take What You Need -Leave What You Can" Image provided by Gabe Lissy

Please Replicate and Support This! Blessing Box

Sometimes it’s the simplest initiatives that bend our hearts the furthest. From it’s host, Gabe Lissy, “If you are in need we have a blessing box set up. Please take what you need, leave what you can

It has been helping so many families in this extremely difficult time. Don’t be shy at all come and take what you need. We have some formula and diapers. Message me if you need.

Most importantly if you are able to donate items to help keep our box full, it is greatly appreciated. You can contact me with any questions or donations. You can come to the box whatever times work for you. Just come and get what you need. Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Thank you in advance.

Donations are always needed to help keep it going. Thank you…we as a community will survive and get through these hard times.”

To give, get (no questions asked!), or to find out more, please email or call 631-617-8110

Poor People's Campaign Assembly & Moral March is Going Digital

Susan Karbiner wants folks to know about “The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival,” which picks up on the unfinished work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who joined with others in 1968 to build a broad, fusion movement to unite the poor and impacted communities and call for a “revolution of values” in America.

Their Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital!

When: June 20, 2020

What: “The largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history.

A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard!”

Photo by Katheryn Laible

We’ve been thinking a lot about science and spirituality lately, and how we wish those who resonate with our hearts wouldn’t so often trouble our minds with claims of or against science that just aren’t so. In turn, we wish those who like to stick to science would remember that there’s a lot we don’t fully understand,…Reiki may seem pseudosciency, but there’s legitimate science behind the healing power of touch.

It’s a challenging subject…and we are grateful to both the scientists and spiritual guides we know who help us at least begin to understand their views and clarify what our own thoughts are…

This is beautiful and touches right on that! Two Ways of Knowing: Robin Wall Kimmerer On Scientific And Native American Views Of The Natural World by Leath Tonino in The Sun

As for science…as we scoured the Internet trying to better understand the science regarding masks…we stumbled across this article from Jeremy Howard, a U. of San Francisco data scientist who, together with 18 other scientists recently completed a review of available research on the subject.

It seemed really helpful. Then, we dug deeper to figure out what we were reading. This is how we discovered, The Conversation which felt refreshingly broadly and intelligently resourced… Then we read their about statement…Sounds good to us!!!

On the spiritual side, we appreciate Ambassadors of Wellness: The SOUL-U-TION Revolution Donna Martini shares her sweet, wise “Mantra Mouse,” and invites all so inclined to meditate and pray with her.

Did you know there’s a church of Rock n Roll that has long been happening for decades every Sunday morning on WBAB 102.3? You don’t have to be a Catholic to appreciate Religion and Rock hosted by Msgr Jim Vlaun

Attitude adjustments help. Katie has often said she is not, in fact, an optimist. but so often delightfully surprised by human beings giving it their best anyway, that she’s decided to support them. This recent NPR piece is making her think a little bit differently about that: Optimism: Is it a Personality Trait, Or Could People Possibly Learn It?

This was interesting: “Nick Hanauer: How Do We Begin To Reinvent Capitalism?” This is part IV in the TED Radio Hour exploration of reinvention. It features a billionaire entrepreneur who believes today’s stark inequality is a product of decades of bad economic theory. He’s still a strong proponent of capitalism, he just thinks we’ve got to start looking at it differently…

We are pleased to see Jed Morey has created something new: a Grow for Good Podcast which “introduces listeners to business leaders who have grown their companies by doing good things.”

We’re in for all the good we can get, anywhere we can find it!

Finally, here’s a great to start your week: Life is Beautiful. It’s author Hugh Hollowell is into “creating a compelling vision of a better world,” as “a writer, a farmer, a pastor, and a foster parent who loves cats” and does some consulting. Released on Mondays, this is an offering of five beautiful things to start your week.

“Because the world is beautiful, but sometimes it’s hard to notice it.”

Image provided by Sonia Saleh

Uplifting Nonprofits

While we agree Zoom can be exhausting we are delighted to find that through it, our social media, good old fashioned telephones and dear associates, we have been able to keeping making new friends through the pandemic.

One who has intrigued us is Sonia Saleh of Uplifting Nonprofits. A decade ago, Sonia decided to apply her long experience in hospitality relationship management and her passion for helping people market their creativity to help nonprofits double their fundraising results and provide leadership training and coaching.

“Doubling fundraising results of both board members and staff is my specialty,” says Sonia, “Knowing that resolving struggles, anxieties, and worries about fundraising is one of the biggest challenges for nonprofits, I created my signature program ‘Unleash Your Inner Fundraiser,’ which teaches how to ask for donations with confidence and ease.”

We’ve only just met, but hit it off pretty quickly.A lifelong learner and joyous networker, she is also a long time Rotarian.

One thing she’s turned us on to is this podcast she finds enriching: School of Greatness Podcast by Lewis Howes is one of the top-ranked Business and Self-Development podcasts on iTunes, its content ranges from interviews with “incredible world-class game changers in entrepreneurship, health, athletics, mindset, and relationships, to solo rounds with the host,”

Local Company At Forefront of COVID Testing, Possibly Even a Vaccine.

Another new friend is John Shearman, a marketing and communications specialist who has spent his career serving innovative technology companies Island-wide. He currently works for a fascinating company called Applied DNA Sciences, Inc, which is an anchor tenant of the Long Island High Tech Incubator.

A primary service of Applied DNA is to enable the authentication of products and supply chains through unique molecular identifiers — basically they literally apply DNA to things like textiles, microchips, cannabis and other products so that their authenticity can be validated.

In recent years they have also become involved in vaccines for blood cancers. When the COVID-19 crisis erupted, they quickly turned to that .

They are very excited that, in partnership with Stony Brook University, they have developed clinical tests for COVID-19 that are apparently 100% accurate. While this aspect is still receiving approvals it may even be saliva based (bye-bye-brain tickle!), and fast enough that local companies and others will be able to regularly offer safe, quick, accurate tests for their employees on a regular basis.

This is a big step toward being freed from our collective quarantine. They’re also working on DNA vaccines in partnership with Takis Biotech, some of which are already being tested on mice and seem to show some significant promise.

Here’s hoping!

Get LI Counted! The Census Matters!

The 2020 Census affects how much federal dollars our region will receive for the next decade. Long Island already pays a lot more in taxes to the Federal Government than it gets back. Undercounts make that worse!!! Plus, this impacts all sorts of planning, at all levels. PLEASE GET COUNTED AND SHARE THIS ARTICLE EXPLAINING WHY, Especially with folks who reach folks in traditionally undercounted demographics..

A simple message the Health and Welfare Council of LI hopes you will share is this:

You can fill out the Census TODAY in just 10 minutes by visiting or calling 844-330-2020.

You may also share the Health & Welfare Council’s Long Island Counts video,

To track your community’s response rate, you can visit the following map.

This is really important. The pandemic makes the work to help make sure it happens a lot harder. Your support helps! Thank you!

About Synchronicity...

For more than 15 years, Synchronicity Planning & Communications has offered writing, event photography and consulting services across Long Island. It is this and other experiences at the fusion point of interests that fuel this newsletter. As individuals dedicated to helping good people do great things, we are committed to increasing the amount and quality of community engagement across Long Island. We offer a rich and ever-growing network of involved individuals from across perspectives, sectors and interests, as well as other resources we discover to help you achieve your objectives. Check out our website, and drop us a line. We love to hear from you!

In this newsletter we endeavor to offer a variety of people and things that inspire us, and yet offer no guarantees whatsoever. While we do our best to provide accurate information, sometimes mistakes happen, details change, or we are given incorrect information. Synchronicity Planning & Communications is not providing professional advice and is in no way responsible for any problems that occur while participating in activities listed on this site, nor do we promise any results from anything suggested here. We don’t necessarily agree with all the ideas people offer, sometimes folks let us down, and our own views continually evolve. We strongly recommend independent research before committing to anything. Despite these uncertainties of life, we remain grateful to those who make us think and learn, and who offer opportunities to help make the world a better place, best they know how. Namaste.

Thank You Sponsors

The Synchronicity Network Newsletter is lovingly dedicated to the memory of David T. Boylan. Thank you for instilling in us a sense of gratitude, curiosity, and the inherent value of everyone we meet; for abiding love, endeavors toward truth, and firm belief in the power and importance of art and other forms of reverence, family, and the friends we make along the way.