Things that opened our minds in 2016 ...

As the new year unfolds, we thought we'd jump in and share a few things that moved or enlightened us in some way. As inter-disciplinary thinkers, we love exploring different fields and mediums to see how our perspectives might be changed or expanded. With that in mind, here are a few things from Susan that opened her mind.

Waste Land, the documentary

Brazilian artist Vik Muniz goes to the largest land fill in the world and works with the garbage pickers to create an extraordinary art project that brings light and dignity to the people and their work. I was inspired by the journey of friendship, beauty and personal discovery that takes place over the course of the project. Honestly, don't miss this. It will reinforce your belief in humanity and goodness.

Richard Serra's Steel Sculpture "Sequence," at SFMOMA

If you live or are traveling anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area and haven't yet been to the newly redesigned SFMOMAgo. It is pure wonder and joy. There are so many things to see there that will make you rethink your understanding of art + space + life in general, but start with Richard Serra's monumental sculpture.

Looks like just a few looping masses, right? Don't be deceived. Walking around and through the maze-like structure will open your mind to how space defines your thoughts and feelings. Somehow, the structure wraps around you, womb-like, giving you a sense of both safety and awe. It was surprisingly peaceful and so aspirational that I walked away feeling taller and more alive.

This American Life, "The Sun Comes Up"

OK, I'll admit that after the November Presidential elections my household was a pretty sad place to be. It took a new puppy to shake us out of the despair. (Welcome to the family, Ivy.) But as an Independent who comes from a family of pretty staunch Midwestern Republicans, I'm always looking for the bridge. My fundamental belief that people are good occasionally gets knocked around, but it usually comes back stronger. This podcast from "This American Life" was the perfect antidote to my malaise, sharing powerful personal reflections from all sides of the political spectrum on the aftermath of the election. I listened to it while running and, well, I cried. Especially uplifting: The conversation between two guys who are long-time best friends with opposing political beliefs. Their discussion was smart, civil and genuine. Think of it as a palate cleanser, whatever your persuasion.