I just walked outside to go to the convenience store. I happened to look up, to my right, and framed between two buildings was a cloud, frontlit, as it were, by the lights from the city, and backlit, by the almost full moon. Beneath these was a little church, with a neon cross. Together it was a beautiful scene, and if I had had the foresight to have charged my phone, I would have come back to my place, grabbed my phone, and snapped a picture. 

The last couple of weeks have made it clear again–not that it was ever in doubt–how much the Internet is a place where everyone’s emotions are amplified. It’s really refreshing when there are opportunities to use the Internet (1) to acknowledge concessions by people with whom one disagrees, even if the concession is less than desirable; (2) to offer simple but sincere words of sympathy regarding victims of deadly accidents; (3) carefully to preface one’s words with respectful language; (4) to be genuine and sincere, without revealing personal information; and so on. In other words, to walk  a few steps back from hardened positions, circumstances in which everyone has their back up, and extremism.

This video was supposedly taken at the spot where Sujata offered rice milk to Siddartha Gautama, the event immediately following his giving up trying to achieve enlightenment through extreme asceticism. It’s completely gorgeous–both the temple, the surrounding landscape, the vegetation, and the birdsong. Being more than two and a half millenia removed from the event, it may or may not be the actual spot, but that’s okay. The actual spot is beside the point. 

Chilled rice milk sounds like a great treat for a hot summer day. Take a short walk with me, a walk back from extremism: