Tuesday, June 14, 2016

If Found Please Return

I found your heart on the passenger seat of a minivan in a used car lot.  The moment I approached it, my own heart skipped a beat.  Though so many would seek to put you in a box like a cadaver for them to make their own judgments about, you are stronger than that.  Your heart knows it was made for bigger and brighter things.  It looked out the window and saw the world beyond our scope of vision.  It saw other hearts driving with passion instead of being fueled by others' confining words and wishes.  Your heart looked past the horizon and into the potential of your life and that of others.

I saw your heart driven by ambition while you kept one hand on the wheel,not for fear of crashing but rather to guide the journey.  My key won't turn the ignition and somewhere deep inside I know that's for the best.  Still, the recent todays make it feel like the absence of any sparked concern may endure.

You don't know it and yet somehow, thankfully, you do.  I don't know if it was courage or foolishness that offered me the opportunity to share with you, but for now I am thankful.  I remember that more often regret stems from inaction than from missteps and mistakes.  So at least I'm learning to use my words.  Whether I have acted in a moment of courageous boldness or a whisper of premature openness, it's a new experience and a new way of becoming myself.  I'll be myself for the rest of my life so I might as well learn to live as me.  Thank you for encouraging to live my truth.  Thank you.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Only Parts of Me Shine Through

I was born into this culture.  Into this setting and all my surroundings surrounding me.  I'm a product and a processor.  I cannot change where I'm from.  I can deny who I am but that doesn't seem to help much.  I can wish to be someone else, but then what of those who do identify as I do?  What of the white male who cannot relate to the portrayals of ignorance, belligerence, and excessive hatred on a daily level?

It is true that I am often uncomfortable with who I am because of who I seem to represent to so many in this world.  Still I cannot paste a new identity on who I am.  I cannot become someone that I am not.  I can love others and try and speak for others, but I have learned that it is much more powerful to learn to empower others to speak for themselves.  We can all only relate our own experiences to those around us.  Even the second- and third-degree stories we share our filtered through our own lived experiences.  To say that you know the feeling of sexual assault because you witnessed the effects it had on your cousin is to lie to yourself and your listeners.  You may have a more complete picture, however you cannot fully understand the impact unless you have lived it yourself.  Even then, everyone's individual experience is different for a number of different factors, including environmental, emotional, mental, physical, cultural, level of ability, etc.

So, although it pains me to have to paint on others, I have to speak my truth.  Please do not tell me that there is no such thing as an individual truth; that is just a misinterpretation of reality.  I am not above reproach, however I have had a long time to think critically about not only my views and opinions, but those of others as well.  I am confident that I do not have it all together.  To put it another way, I am confident that my points of view and perspectives are fickle and fluttering.  Nevertheless, I am tired of being (sometimes) slowly shoved into a box.

I recognize that the boxing is nothing new for minorities and many people who do not look like me or think like me.  I know that I am not the only one who gets filtered into a container that doesn't fit my way of life.  There are generations of groups of people who have spent lifetimes and even given their lives in attempts to break even one side of their societal box.  I believe that as this world continues to diversify, as it is only doing more and more, we will all have to increasingly learn how to make room for the unique, the abnormal, and the unfamiliar.  Most, if not all, people have had moments where they were assumed to think, act, or be a certain way based upon broad generalization.  This feeling can be hurtful, and I'll admit that sometimes I have often been the painter of these broad strokes.  However, I am asking that when the words I say, the comments that I make, or the jokes that I allow to fill the silence are interpreted as walls being built around who you are as fellow human being, please gracefully offer me correction.

I can be ignorant, I can be hurtful, and I can be insensitive.  However, if I am not taught in a manner that doesn't widen my wounds, I may never learn.  Meanwhile, I will try to remember that discipline is painful today, but the scars that it produces prevent deeper wounds in the future.  World, let's practice grace, mercy and forgiveness, all the while not forgetting to be open to teaching as well.  Love is in the air if you will just pollinate it in season.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"All the things I [did] say to you before you moved across the country"

"It's all possible, don't worry about me," the voice in my ear was a gentle whisper.  I saw signs in the distance, or was it the far end of the cavern in my head?  Was I seeing visions projected from my heart's paintbrush?  Was I just opening my eyes to the brilliance of the colors all around me?  I'm Forrest running after Jenny, but only in my mind.  Outside of these walls she's dashing away from me.  I want the unattainable, to grasp the unreachable.  I want to touch a heart that beats a different rhythm.  I've shown her the stairs but she has to take the elevator.  My feeble arms complementing her passionate, nearly careless and somehow so caring spirit.  My fumbled words and her rhyming couplets.

All the fire in my bones makes kindling of my insides.  These unrequited passions aim to fool me.  They tease me in the direction toward authenticity or at least joyfulness, but I know it can't be.  I know it's not "we."  There won't be regrets this time.  No, at least not the typical ones.  The words poured from within me before you flew away.  I'm a lost plane circling the sun and we don't need to make an emergency landing to refuel any time soon.  Though so many thoughts flood through who I currently am, I'm already feeling like more of an ellipsis.  So now you can fill in the dots with your own thoughts and visions of cloud-kissed rainbows.

Good night then.