NPM: Writing Advice to Myself

Speak simply

Write plainly

Think clearly

About what hurts

What frightens

What elates

Gaze unwaveringly

Into the molten core

Of who I am

Do not look away

In disgust

Or revulsion

Or terror

Look on with outward calm

And write with poise and clarity

Set down with finite words

The infinite complexities

Of being human

It’s simple.

NPWM Day 7: Silence

I used to love silence.

I used to savor that quiet stillness

because it felt almost holy.

I could be silent on my own

or silent with a friend

and it didn’t bother me.

It was good and full and rich and deep.

It spoke to me of comfort,

of contentment,

of simply being and not striving.


But that’s not our silence, is it?

Our silence is dangerous,

a razor edge.

Our silence is filled with

the crushing weight of words

we cannot find.

It presses down on our shoulders

and leaves us staggered.

It sits on our chests until we cannot breathe.

It grips its fist around our throats

and squeezes. Hard.

This is not the sacred silence

of fellowship or solitude.

This is a silent scream

and we are utterly defeated by its noise.


I sit here begging you to speak,

knowing you have no words,

knowing I am spent and broken,

and wondering how the hell

to reach you

through the paralyzing silence,

so different from the one

I used to love.

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)