Please note, this blog was created primarily as an exercise for public speaking. Click on the link above to listen.
Life is an experiment to see how willing and capable we are of opening, releasing, and expanding our own souls. How many of us truly want to go on that journey? My favorite poem speaks about the entangling nature of Joy and Sorrow…
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the same well from which your laughter rises was often times filled with your tears. ...And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "No, sorrow is the greater." But I say unto you, they are inseparable.”
What I’ve come to realize is that beauty is broken, broken is beautiful… and that’s what makes us human. What do you feel the most joy or sorrow towards in your life? What about that makes it beautiful?
Vulnerability takes courage, your vulnerability proves your strength. Your shadows prove the sunshine. The same author goes on to say,
“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link. This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link. To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of the ocean by the frailty of its foam.”
What I love about music is that it opens us to unequivocal truth. Its melody paints the colors of our heart and all of it’s longing into sound and space. Its mess becomes art. Its story becomes our anthem. All art is beautiful because its expression. Glimpses of our soul can become an everlasting song.
“My sun sets to rise again.” ― Robert Browning
Dawn excites me. There’s something about a cup of steamy hot tea, the sounds of birds chirping in the early light, and those beautiful warm pastel colors seeping over the horizon that have ceaselessly enchanted me. Each morning comes and goes so quickly that it seems as if we can never quite catch it, but maybe that’s part of its beauty and worth. It’s only when we are awake and allow ourselves to be a part of the world that surrounds us that we can capture its memory and keep it forever.
What dawn really brings is endless possibilities. It’s a fresh start, a new doorway to walk through, a different path to mark. It’s the beginning of 24 hour cycle that we can choose to make as memorable or invaluable as we’d like.
"Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.“ - Martin Luther King Jr
So here’s to that. Here’s to being awake. Here’s to being alive. Here’s to being grateful. Here’s to living intentionally and seeing each of our days as a gift - an extra 24hours - another chance to live, enjoy, change, and build upon. I believe everything in life is a potential and a possibility, so here’s to taking responsibility for life and the moments at hand. Here’s to being reborn each morning.
I feel as if I could spend a lifetime discovering the reasons why it left me so enchanted. The truth is I have never been anywhere that breathes even remotely like it. It bursts with simplicity, sophistication, & art. What I love most about Oxford is that beyond its beautiful facade you can find the less tangible but more significant sense of authenticity it carries. Everything there has a purpose. Everything was built with meaning and reason. Nothing was created for tourists, and that might be the best attraction of all. It’s beautiful because it celebrates beauty, not because it tries to imitate it. The streets are winding yet small enough to be discovered. The buildings are centuries old yet somehow vibrant and bubbling with life and education. When you walk you overhear conversations about books and studies instead of gossip and trivialities. You understand the history that brought forth great thinkers like Tolkien & C.S. Lewis. Being in Oxford made me forget myself and fall in love with the reality of something far greater - the coupling of my insignificant yet significant place in history. Walking through its quaint streets left me in a state of childlike bliss; one moment frolicking in the sunshine, the next racing through the downpour of rain - smiling & laughing through every minute of it. In the midst of shire-like hills, gardens, churches, & universities - I felt like I belonged. And although my time there was brief, I can dream about myself being there again on a different journey, in a different lifetime. Completely submerged in the city, enchanted.