Think of others, more than you think of yourself. And don't just think about them, take action to show them you're thinking of them. Call them up and say 'I love you' and then tell them why. Send people cards on their birthdays and when the big things happen. Death, weddings, births. Show up when they are sick. Bring soup. Be humble. Always. Be grateful. Always. Stay curious about everyday and everyone. Believe in people, they really are genuinely good. Believe in miracles. Give to the poor. Let the world break your heart. And then do something about it. Remember, you'll be a speck of dust sooner than you can blink. Be of service. Be a sensible person. Use your words, and don't be nervous.
My hero is Chris DeRose, founder of Last Chance for Animals, who in a true stealth rescue operation, broke into a university laboratory and saved the dogs, cats who had been cut open, loosely stitched back together, keeping their organs from slipping out of their bodies while the grateful creatures -- in one case, a beagle -- licked his face.
The gift of painting a world with words is one I never take for granted. It creates a beautiful place for me to abide, to comprehend circumstances, to grow in wisdom. It powers my spine to speak the Truth as I see it without distraction. If you read my words, you have to hear my voice, and you have to see (at least a little bit) my heart.
"Oh, you kids. You think you have your whole lives to live. That's a lie. What does the Buddha say? He says, 'your problem is you think you have time.' Here's what you need to be terrified of. Not living. Not falling in love. Not speaking up. Not taking chances. Not going for something that makes your heart feel like a Christmas bonfire. You need to spend your whole life, the time you got left, following that fire. None of the other crap, none of the fear, none of the past, none of the distractions. Just the fire. Just the desire. What you truly desire, that's your destiny. That's your destiny, and that's your true destination."
I continue on, forging a path that no one has taken, nor would have thought possible considering my obstacles. Yet I am indebted to the hardship, which has challenged me to see the possibilities rather than the walls.
"Look, kid, you can't give up so easy. That's the sure sign of a loser. Every winner needs something to aspire to. And desire... well, desire created just about everything in this world. Stay with it. Looks like you've got yourself a reason to put two feet on the floor and brush your hair. And that, my friend, is just what the doctor ordered. Make no mistake. That's a cause for celebration." She put down the hedge trimmers and peeled off her Crocs by the front stoop. "Come inside, I'll make you some tea."
If we try to exile life to a private island,
we will drown in the wine of angels.
There's a reason we have yet to reach heaven.
We don't know how to handle permanent loveliness.
We clench our bodies for fear
they will be stolen in the night.
We don't know how to harness
our own power and just might
kill ourselves if left in charge
of our own brains,
or if our brains were left in charge of us.
What is a rebel? Someone who refuses to conform to established standards of conduct. Someone who resists authority, control or tradition. Someone who rejects status quo sometimes to the point of being thought of as weird or an outcast. Someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action. Someone who says, "This (insert word: job, relationship, societal beliefs/constructs, etc) isn't working anymore and has got to go." A person who is innovative, insightful, and not afraid of ridding the dead in life. Sounds like a raven to me.
And now here I am by the table, writing, and feeling exactly like a hero, because I woke up just to write. A hero who will never leave her journey or go back to that struggle of feeling or trying to fill the morning emptiness because the mornings are hers to write and the sky is listening with great pleasure.
"Thanks," she said. If Amy was still in magazines, she would have put Danny on the cover. But Amy had a feeling this woman's beauty was the last thing she thought about. There was such little vanity about her, but somehow she was more beautiful, makeup-less in paint-splattered overalls, than any model Amy had ever seen. "You're... you're beautiful," Amy blurted out. "Bah..." Danny said, shooing the words away. "That ain't gonna last." She pointed to her heart. "But this is. So that's what I focus on."
"No shit. Think about shipwrecks," Leanne said. "The old ones, from the days of pirates and shit. Think about all that gold at the bottom of the ocean. But only the brave ones, who dive way down deep into the wreck, only those muthafuckas get that gold. Well, you're at the bottom of the ocean kid, might as well look around and see what you find."
This is a call to arms, hands, feet, hearts. Cultivate your creative nature every day. Believe in impossible ideas. If you have impossible ideas, they are within you for a reason. You think only other people can act on their ideas? Are other people more deserving dreamers than you?
We must write ourselves into the fabric
of everything we have yet become.
Because unlike your skin, hair, and bones,
your words you take with you when you go.
Life, like land, is formed when fire meets air and water,
when thought meets emotion and language,
the edge of a moment.
I will write to you what I think, and you will then see my words hit the walls of your kingdoms like cannon fire; my words will reverberate in your eardrums and pulse through your veins, they will be the roar of the ocean and the hurricane winds.
A night of twisted horror, buried no longer,
pulled from her memory to snake down her spine
and whittle its way through a small knot on her back,
spilling shivers to stand soft hairs on end and
send limbs of truth to wrap her in their cold embrace.
Creativity isn't encouraged and developed in middle school or high school. School becomes a series of checkboxes. Show up on time. Get the grades. Graduate. Go to college. Checkboxes supplied and pursued without explanation or questioning.
Amy stood there, the chimes singing, the seagulls calling overhead, the ocean air playing with the tangles of her hair. Norman and Leanne were looking at her impatiently. Everything froze, like God had put the tape of the movie of her life on pause so she would pay attention. Here, look, this is important.
“That’s how people end up here,” she said, fumbling with her change purse, counting dollar bills. “They’re crawling out of some fucking disaster. They call you washashores. By the time you get here from the mainland you’re barely breathing. Ask most of the women here. They came here to heal. It might as well be called Heartbreak Island.”
I was a fool to think this was about countries. This is a about humanity. This is about our human race. This is about our planet that we co-inhabit. This is about our larger story. And right now, it's a sad one. Tragic. Shocking. Grim.
I like the challenge of traveling, constantly marveling at the beauty of Earth, and major-minor revelations that all humans share commonalities, no matter what their culture, native tongue, or religion.
"Look. This morning, there was a man on the Today show, he said something and I totes thought of you. His family had survived a hurricane and lost everything. Even their dog. He said, like, 'in the darkest of times, you can either let it destroy you or let it create you.' So maybe, maybe try to let this create you instead of destroy you. Think of your life as a blank slate."
They were so similar then, both strange and dangerous, they were strangerous, they were wild and untamable with stars in their eyes. At least she had been, at first. They were like lion cubs in love, reckless and roaring and rolling and playing, blind to life's rules and deaf to the heeds of those who told them to slow down, to be careful. But it was like when Harry runs to Sally on New Year's Eve and says, "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." They could find no reason to wait to drown in each other.
Dear Professor, you probably don't remember me. It was a long, long time ago since you've seen me and I am sure you have had many students come and go since I last sat in your class. To be completely honest, the images are a bit fuzzy for me as well.
And that was sort of what her therapist was saying, now, that people were already talking, don’t give them all the gory details of the downfall. Fall apart in private. Go into hiding. Like a big fat depressed bear for winter. See who she was in the spring.
To control the breathing is to control the mind. With different patterns of breathing, you can fall in love, you can hate someone, you can feel the whole spectrum of feelings just by changing your breathing.
When the moon is full and radiant, the song she pulls out of us might go something like this: The Wild in us wants out as if stirred from a sleep, out of deep lava flows, from the throes of core to uproar, and soar with supernovas in a cosmic union. Alchemic, poetic -- magnifying in full bloom, the full moon pours forth heart-source Divinity: a luminous light-fire creation flame.
When James was leaving her so easily, like a shirt he had grown tired of, an old friend from her early days at 'Rolling Stone' had said, "I think, to be the kind of woman someone fights for, you have to be the kind of woman who fights for herself."
What would happen if you could put aside your fear for one day? One hour? Be drawn by the connections that come, feed that place of intrinsic love and let it be your guide... surrender to the unknowable order of things.
Yes, you can spend your days creating art and poetry. No, you cannot solve all the world’s problems today even if you tried; but you can brighten someone’s day and make their journey more beautiful. Perhaps that is the real meaning of life?
This is about real people who are hurting and in pain and in need of healing. This is about a world that is in need of healing. And this is about creating the means to rebel against the systems of injustice that kill and maim and wound us all. This is about standing together as a global community, comprised of billions of individual humans. It's about humanity, damnit! And it's about time we are all finally treated as humans.
The artist, the dreamer,
the girl who rocks life harder
than anyone she knows.
The girl who can dance,
choreograph and loves to watch the snow.
The girl who dreams big and lets everyone know.
Because she is not all talk.
She is action.
Being a vibrant single man who is also a passionate poet, I generally hand-deliver these haiku cards to women. This draws a wide range of reactions from a wide range of women at the moment of unexpected poetic truth.
I write because words are medicine and because there is nothing wrong with me and there is nothing wrong with you and we are just humans with wild hearts trying to figure how to love each other (and OURSELVES) bigger and better and why would I keep what I learn or what I question a secret when we have the potential to change the world with the stories we tell?
Poetry speaks to a hyper-awareness of language and its power to recreate a moment.
A poet emerges as someone who sees and speaks in this world with a particular awareness.
The nature of this awareness shifts across different times and locations.
I want to be clear, The SCAR Project is not about breast cancer and The Unknown Soldier is not about war. They are about many things. The images can be uncomfortable for the viewer. It forces us to confront our fears and inhibitions about life, death, sexuality, sickness, relationships, etc. I once read it described as unflinching. Reality is not always pretty. This is reality. Let's address it. Both The SCAR Project and The Unknown Soldier present an opportunity to open a dialogue about issues we are not necessarily comfortable with... and in the case of The Unknown Soldier, responsible for.
Living my life to extremes,
making great waves in the world.
Being an all-around fabulous girl.
Does it shock you?
To know that I’m shedding my clothes
and revealing myself in this way?
In essence, you see,
I am just being me…
I am going to come back into the world of everything -- happening-all-the-time, and I am going to stop when I need to and be kind to myself even when the critics are not and wave a flag for the thousands of other people on this beautiful and fleeting planet who are struggling to stay healthy whilst meeting the ridiculous demands of our non-stop modern life style, regardless of whether they are making art or not.
You know that everything up until now has been leading to this moment in time. All the transformation, all the dark, mucky, sludgy, messy, chaos and shitstorms that you’ve been weathering have led you here. And now ALL you have to do is open, receive, and allow your soul’s work to come through you. So you freeze...
You're in full bloom babe,
pure as a pearl and soft as a peach.
Like when you were just a child.
Just look at you,
your hair's getting curly again,
wild and unruly, it mimics the vines
that hang from the trees
that give season after season.