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Hope springs 

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The Observer observes. It's right there in the job title, folks, and we knew it from the first moment we donned the sacred ring regurgitated by a magical, wish-granting catfish in exchange for releasing him back into the moonlit Arkansas River many and many a year ago. That said, it ain't quite as complicated as brain surgery or short-order cookin'. We just try to keep our peepers open and give a loud and cheerful "present!" when our name is called, both skills you have to cultivate if you don't want to make the common mistake of going to bed hale and hearty at 20 years old, only to wake up an old fart on your deathbed, wondering where all the years went. Happens all the time.

The Observer doesn't often do visual Observers, but today, only a photo will do. As someone once said (maybe Abraham Lincoln, as every quote we see on Dr. Zuckerberg's Mechanical Book of Faces seems to be attributed to ol' Abe, even when the quote is "Don't believe everything you read on Facebook"), a picture is worth yadda-yadda-yadda.

Every morning after dropping Junior off at Central High School, we drive past the following tableau there on Daisy Bates near bustling Broadway. We noticed it some weeks back, and thought it beautiful, cars streaming past, never slowing, never noticing, never Observing. But we do. We see. Right there in the job description, sons and daughters, part and parcel.

Some mornings, when The Observer has been in a particularly low place, seeing it there has damn near brought us to grateful tears. The Observer is a romantic, which is the nice way of saying we're a sappy puss. We understand that. But there's something about this that speaks to a lot of things we've been through, here on the backside of 40, and the meaning changes, depending on where our head is. Something about time, maybe. Hope. Renewal. Maybe just the way nothing ever truly disappears. Hopefully it will speak to you as well. So we ask you, dear friend: Have you slowed down to see the world today? Have you ever seen a poem without words?

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