In Favor of Bravery

Bravery felt like…

agony, for the longest time.

like a jostling of waves in a water-balloon-of-a-heart,

holding a shipwreck, exploding, contained only by the pale pink latex of its walls.

It felt like spiraling into a bad dream you choose,

on a pillow case overstuffed with doubt,

and waking up to find like a cat,

it was sitting there — on your face — every morning,

for a year.

It felt like running to the window with stubborn persistence,

to find the sun –

perpetually dressed, in a black cloak.

“It was chic,” he said. “It was magic,”

he laughed.

It felt like opening the door to find that you’re not much starter than he,

you left the house in a scratchy thick sweater,

made of butter,

in July.

It honestly felt like…

everyone in the “world” was doing the “normal” thing,

except you.

I(t) felt like, giving up, like coming up short.

It was an argument. A fight.

It felt like this, in fact — until it didn’t.

When I realized “normal” was black and white,

and I wanted to go chase the rainbow.

And then. Ha. And then…

it felt like the breaking of dawn.

Like the fullest breath I’ve ever dared to take, again and again.

Like walking to the ocean. Like taking a hike.

And then… I felt like doing it again.

Before Goliath

We have a way of adorning the Davids after they’ve conquered their Giant, caramelizing them story after story, with awe and roars.

But before they are conquerors, we take sharp needles to their dreams, knitting fear and “likelihoods” of “success” to their socks, pushing our own definition of life into the souls of their feet, lest they take a different step than us.

We’ve worn our own fear far too long.

This yarn burrows so deep into us we forget that it was once blood that pumped through our veins, and not these puppet strings.

But we are human and not toy. We are love that unravels away all threads. We are re-knit garments of protection for the ones before they are conquerors.

For ourselves, before we are conquerors. 

We are tapestries vibrant in fullness, vast in freedom, rich in unconventionality, and ever-unraveling into unthinkable lives.

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Everything that I’ve ever done

because I should have has turned out horribly.

Everything that I have ever done that I’ve wanted to do (the things that make me, me) but was almost too scared to do has turned out to be a terribly horrifying roller coaster of ups and downs and ship loads of insecurities all bundled into a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure. Utterly satisfying and completely and despairingly terrible all at the same time.

I’ve been thinking

a lot (always) but most recently about who I want to become and what I want to accomplish. Aspirations? Inspirations? What’s the journey? But…actually, what is the outcome that I want? I stumbled upon the thought of…at the end of my life, if I had started my own company, sold a company, became known as an artist, bound books, sold handmade journals, after all that – and then I looked back, what is it that would actually still mean anything to me? Perhaps there’s an art to looking back and just being okay with the fact that you tried everything you could. But perhaps we (at least I) think too much about the pursuit of the next great “potential,” and not enough about…just living, and experiencing, and… feeling? – Is that too happy-feely?

Really, look back. What have been the most meaningful experiences? What about the best? Um I actually really enjoyed liked getting lost on a night hike with my _____ and his friends, not knowing if we were actually going to be able to find the way back down. It was actually great sublime- being alert from fear of death, terrified and hating it, but also loving the fact that we were all experiencing the same “w-t-f-just-hold-it-together-…we-got-this…..don’t-die…-don’t-scare-me-more-please-hold-my-hand-sing-happy-songs” mentality. Somehow supporting each other in our fear, staying positive for each other and being supported by one another kept the monsters lurking in our imagination at bay. (As for the real ones – it’s a miracle.) There’s something about walking in fear together that breeds an intimacy not found in the comfort of the routine – pushing through the fear, and even using it to propel us towards home – towards “safety.” Holding onto hope and those around you. In that moment. Looking up at the stars. Feeling small. Feeling scared. Just alive.

Adventure awaits. And “adventure” is here. Take away the quotes. Being uncomfortable Terrified – but trusting that it would be OK – we hoped. But, that’s all more poetic than it really was (is)… maybe it wasn’t poetic at all. Who am I kidding, we were scared out of our minds.

Conclusion: Life is the experience. Death is not the end. Passenger – Keep on Walking.