I didn't think it was possible, but paranoid visions of doom and gloom have become even more popular in the past few years than ever before. Apocalypse-watching is no longer a fringe hobby reserved for conspiracy fetishists; it has gone mainstream. And yet here I am in the midst of the supposed mayhem, babbling my eccentric ideas about how we are living in the single most wonderful time in the history of civilization. So let me ask you a crucial question, especially if you're one of the millions of normal people who believes that cynicism is a supreme sign of intelligence: Do you really want to be getting your fortune told by a rebel optimist like me? You should know that all my horoscopes are rooted in the hypothesis that expecting the best makes you happier, safer, kinder, wilder, stronger, and smarter. What happens in the coming weeks will, in my opinion, be dramatic proof of that. -- Rob

As a photographer, contrast serves me. The web says this of contrast: The difference between the darkest and lightest areas in a photo. The greater the difference, the higher the contrast.

I'm going to preach as to purge. And if no one wants to read, I'll be my own choir. So, let the brief composition begin...

There will always be contrast...there will always be great differences. As we move away from contrast, we move towards homogeneity. Sameness. Stasis. A fading into the picture so no individual is visible...back into the collective. Which is fine after death but we're here -- Now -- to be a single specific specimen...a finely drawn leaf dangling in the chaotic differences. To judge the contrast is to come into conflict. There can be no peace in conflict. So, I choose to allow contrast. I choose to be un-judging and unconditional in my life's approach. I am far from my goal but I can feel myself moving in that direction. I am learning to love that which is so different from me by simply acknowledging that to know what I am is to know that which I am not. How can I not be in appreciation of that powerful relationship? Everything is complimentary...that is my focus. And the beautiful result of focusing is that there is always clarity.