In 2008, Barack Obama ran for President with the campaign slogan “Hope”. Hope means a lot of things, and there are many things to hope for, but in his recent address to the Cuban people he gave what could be considered a definition for a certain type of hope. It’s the type of hope that I have when I think about not just the future of the United States but of the whole world.

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I was taught: if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. But sometimes you have nothing to say anyways, and that’s nice too.

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Home; we use this word a lot. For all of its vague specificity, home is rarely a place to which we can assign absolute physicality. Home is my apartment, with cozy couches and tall windows in the living room that let in beautiful light in the early hours of the day. Home is the town I grew up in, but it’s also the city where my parents now live, a place that in turn is home because I spent six years there during and after college. Home is my face nestled into the shoulder of my closest friend and home is an apple orchard on fire with the colors of autumn and home is a booth at your favorite bar on a rainy Friday night. When I am traveling back to New England I’m traveling home, and when I’m ready to come back, I’m returning home. Sometimes we feel like we’re at home and other days like we have no home. It is a fickle thing, the notion of home.

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We were standing street-side this evening awaiting a cab, the muted hustle of downtown Oakland blowing about us. A bus stopped kitty-corner to us and dispensed humans at the curb, accelerating north up Broadway with a roar. Further south toward Jack London Square the Amtrak was rolling through, clack clack clack on its journey west.

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We’re all quietly longing for the lives we know we should live but are too afraid to begin.

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