Let your love for life be an ocean
Let it totally immerse your soul
Let whatever it is that fuels this heart
Be filled with
Beauty, compassion, and understanding

The above words are not my own. Despite having said them over and over to myself countless times, they still leave me dumbfounded. In their simplicity I find truth. In their truthfulness, I find wonder. And in their wonder, I find inspiration. I find words to live by.

Where I came upon these words is further cause for amazement. I read them not in a book on philosophy, nor in anything academic. Rather, I happened upon them while on a walk. Traversing a bike path that runs near campus, I looked up one day and noticed some graffiti. As I approached, I noticed that, in addition to some graffiti drawings, there were words.

Once close enough, I stopped and read those words. They are the words you read above. Every day I could, I found myself walking the path so that I might again read these words. Each time I did, I found new meaning. No matter what, I could always count on these words to lift my spirits.

Recently, the university finally covered up the graffiti, so this message of beauty and love was taken from those of who stopped to see it. The words live on in my head, though, and continue to astound me as I continue on this path called life. And fortunately, I was able to snap a picture of it, so that I could look at it whenever I wanted to.

arroyo graffiti 2

Speaking of beauty, I thought I would also take the opportunity to share with you some pictures of my home town. The pictures you see below are were taken in October. All the views appear to be aerial. This is partially true. They were taken about a mile above the city, from Sandia Peak, the highest point in the area.

Here's a view of Albuquerque from the highest point on the peak:

Burque from Sandia Peak

Here's a view of some wispy clouds covering part of the mountains:

clouds on mountains

Here's a view of the Sandias from the tramway car:

On the Tram

And here's another similar view:

rocks on Sandias

Still another:

Sandia mountain

And here's a view that shows the steepness of the mountainside:

trees on mountains 2

And speaking of love (refer to beginning of this blog, or thereabouts), it has found me. I often wondered what it would be like, and how I would know that it was upon me. I marvel now at how it did come to be. It was the last thing I expected, especially when it happened. But happen it did, and as those aforementioned words did say, love has totally immersed my soul. The picture you see below is of me and my partner, Robert. We're standing at Sandia Crest, the highest point of the mountain range in Albuquerque. Behind us, you can see the city spread out below.

Phil and Robert

This concludes your pictorial tour. Please exit to the right. Follow the hall into Next Week, and on your left, you'll find more photo blog tours awaiting you. I hope you enjoyed this one.