it’s one thing 

to talk about injustice,

it’s another thing to

do something about it

to contribute to the solution

in a thought out way

as you would with any other

challenge

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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.

Seven Billion Kinds of Cookies

Sometimes I get tired of the cliche phrases on cat posters –  to”follow your dreams.Maybe I just have something against cats. Perhaps it’s because the phrase is just so short and framed as a command: you must buy me. The words sold so many times their meaning generic, lost in the routine.

As if following your dreams could be crammed into 3 tiny little words and fit into your back pocket like a shopping list. “Honey, don’t forget to pick up the dreams on your way home.”

Follow

Your

Dreams

They’re not even your dreams anymore, they’re just dreams, as if everyone should have the same ones. Manufactured in large quantities for a profit. Where people you don’t know determine their labels, how they’re made, what’s inside. Bland – like bags of flour. Easily purchased at your local grocery store. Packaged, sometimes with a recommended serving size. Obscure ingredients and nutritional values recorded. Approved by the Federal Dream Administration.

No one really talks about how hard it really is. Or how long it really takes. To “follow your dreams.” Those 3 tiny little words sell dreams for cheap, like you paid for this epic story of 1000 pages – but instead, you got just 3 words. And then, you bought it so many times, you actually forgot you were getting cheated.

But maybe to “follow your dreams” isn’t so bad of a phrase. Perhaps I’ve just been misinterpreting it – fixating on the right side of the sentence, forgetting the left. Forgetting that the journey is a part of the dream. The verb used is to “follow” – which is about the journey. And some people still bake cookies with flour.

 

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.