(Dylan's weekly notes for Friday April 19th. You can sign up here.)
You want to know what is going on in Boston after the attacks on the town's storied marathon? Check out this message from my friend, former Marine Captain Ryan McGill. He's a thick-necked Beantown rugby player who used to pilot choppers in Iraq, ferrying gravely wounded troops to combat medical facilities.
I received this ground-level view of Boston from an email he sent me yesterday:
"Today is the memorial service and everyone seems ready to move forward and not let this evil cripple the city. I love the resiliency of this town and am definitely happy to be a member."
You get that? No conjecture about blast radius. No angry blanket statements about what race, religion, or political belief might have to do with the bomb.
This message came to me before the shutdown of the city as police forces closed in on two suspects over the last 18 or so hours. But even the closing of city streets for a manhunt hasn't deterred his desire to keep an even keel.
Why? It's because Ryan knows what he can control, what he can influence and what he can't do no matter how hard he tries. Just as he couldn't stanch the flow of blood for a medevac'd Marine in Iraq (he could only fly his CH-46 with expert care and control to get to waiting doctors), he won't be prosecuting this case or questioning when his beloved metropolis will heal.
But he can follow his love, and Ryan is doing just that. What he loves just so happens to be meeting with investors, politicians and community supporters in Boston to help open a greenhouse that he believes will shine a light in the city he is proud to proclaim he loves.
There's a lot of that attitude with the Archi's Acres crew, even the ones who aren't from Boston. Colin and his farming service men and women at Archi's Acres are pure love and have converted me into a full-on believer in the possibility of a veteran-led American renaissance.
Maybe it's just Southern California, but I feel like I'm bathed in light these days. I've been working on a new documentary film casting light on the imprisonment of Ryan Ferguson. My fellow producer Chip Rosenbloom, known for countless films, and his ownership of the St. Louis Rams, has been a great ally of efforts to get money out of politics and to expand Archi's Acres. Chip will be best known for his work as a social justice advocate. He is a light shiner. The fantastically talented director and friend, Andrew Jenks, is light shiner. It's why I'm proud to go into the documentary film business with them.
Colin and his veteran team won't change the world in short order. This film won't fix an obviously broken and destructive justice system. But we need not wait on big solutions to complicated problems. We simply need to bend light each moment of each day and shine more of it on our local problems and engage our energy in a collective mission larger than ourselves.
It is happening, and -- God help me -- it is exciting. This converging, revolutionary and transformative force is as real as those bombs in Boston. While this force cannot take the evil away, it can dilute it into the expanding ocean of light as we all shine brighter for ourselves and each other.
This light will show us the path. It will help us find and build the new way forward with resolve, passion and focus!
Onward and Upward,