Things I’ve Learned (And Am Learning)

Sometimes, it is wiser to be silent, even if you feel you have something to say.

Don’t be afraid of thinking and questioning.

It is easy to regret words rashly spoken. It is also easy to regret silence when something needed to be said.

Tradition is important, but it can still be wrong.

Some well-intentioned people may discourage you from expressing your questions, thoughts, or doubts. They may make you feel guilty for having them. God is not one of those people.

There is so, so much we don’t understand. Don’t be quick to say you do.

Pride is your worst enemy. Sooner or later, it will absolutely humiliate you.

Think boldly; speak carefully.

You don’t have to go on a life-long search for significance. You don’t have to “make something of yourself.” Your life is already significant by default. You matter, no matter what you do.

To be continued… (for the rest of my days)

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I Find My Voice

At night

I find my voice

When the world is hushed

but the crickets sing

And my mind quiets down enough

to discern the mumblings of my heart

And the stumbling, stuttering phrases

march forth like ragtag soldiers

and try their best to hold formation

The sun shouts, but the moon whispers

And in the muted symphony

I can hear my own strains

Solemn or frenzied

Melancholy or wild

In the stillness

I find my voice

Unmade

My clothes smolder

My hair is singed

I have stepped close to the fire

and it burns sweetly

I taste the tang of metal and heat on my lips

Is this the taste of holiness?

The shimmering air sears my throat, my lungs

I breathe deep

Burn, burn

The past is gone

But the memories are strong

Move forward, into the flames

One step, two

I am a coal-walker now

And the memories begin to slough off

I shake my shoulders, toss my head

And they’re gone

Free

I rise, a spark swirling into the night sky

Free

I am no one

Free

I am anyone

A new creature, reborn, remade!

 

And then I wake

I am myself

All of me, still here

And the memories sit heavy on my chest

Look down into my bleary eyes

And laugh

Without

The truest knowledge of a thing
Comes from being without
For who would notice certainty
If they’d never tasted doubt?

And how much sweeter, cleaner
Is the first fresh breath of air
To one who endured till the dawn
Through a bleak night of despair

To rise again most gratifies
The one who farthest fell
Could we recognize a heaven
If we hadn’t passed through hell?