(the picture above is actually from a few weeks back, at a benedictine monastery and retreat center, but i think that it illustrates what i want to say.)

as i'm sure you already know, omaha was home to a shooting at a mall that left nine dead and five injured on wednesday. i covered much of the event and the vigils the following day for epa, but i'm going to stay away from posting the images, i think. i can't say anything about it that hasn't already been said. it's a horrendous story and one that we shouldn't forget. it has certainly made me reflect on events and people in my life.

as the last month of the year, december always puts me in a reflective mood. i revisit the pictures i've shot for the year, the music i've listened to, the books i've read, the people i've met, the places i've visited and the way i've spent my time. this quiet meditation helps me remember the person i want to be and the good i want to do. it has also led me to remember the importance of my family.

in a few weeks, my brothers will be traveling home for christmas. this year began in their company, so it's fitting that it should end that way. though i don't get to see them very often any more, i feel like i'm most myself when in their company. like bruce springsteen says, 'nothing feels better than blood on blood.' the important things come out of love. i'm trying to remember that.

so if you're into taking advice from an overtly reflective rambler, tell the people you love that you love them.

(the schukar men: matt, mike (my pops!) and tim in palm beach in january 2007)