This I Believe; Purpose Grounded in Love

This I believe; people come into our lives with definitive purpose. They come to be a lesson, a blessing, or sometimes they come to be both. The philosophy may be clique and perhaps a bit overzealous, but nonetheless it is mine. I honestly believe that there are no accidental meetings. I believe that every single individual we encounter in this life has something to offer us. We may not always like what is being offered, but there is always a value and necessity to it. I believe that the best way to see this offering is to look at everyone who enters our life with kindness and with love in order to best appreciate what is being given. And that it is those who are willing to take this offering who are the ones who grow to reach great heights.

When I was in sixth grade I read a book series that changed my life. Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy impacted me in many ways, such as inspiring me to be a writer for instance, but one quote in particular has always found a place in my mind:

“To those who will see, the world waits.”

Over the years this phrase has had many meanings to me, but time has evolved to a place where these words speak of seeing what is not always obvious. It speaks of looking for the value we do not always see at surface level, finding that value, and then celebrating it. Now I will be the first to offer that the moment a writer puts a thought to paper, something is lost in translation. I am fully aware Ms. Bray’s quote can have an infinite amount of meanings, but to me her words have come to mean the above. And it is this philosophy that has come to drive me in life.

Now I have always been an extrovert who loves people, but what has changed since I have obtained this philosophy is that I find myself looking at people with kinder eyes. I have, or at least I hope I have, become someone who is gentler, softer, and radiates love in everything she does. And perhaps this is why I believe what I do. Perhaps I want people to see that it is love that drives me to reach the emotional extremes that I do, be it happiness or anger. Perhaps it is because I want people to see me and the world I hold within me.

Of course, I’m fully aware I’m not always perfect. There are days when I don’t want to look beyond the surface or see the value that everyone has to offer. There are days when I get miserable and fed up and deteriorate to a mindset which says ‘I can do things better than anyone else and don’t need anyone else’s help.’ I use the word deteriorate because I know this is a lower level of thinking. Life is very much a team sport and to go it alone, especially when one is an extrovert whose happiness is brought on by people, is to condemn oneself to a lifetime of stress and misery. I’ve come to realize I cannot do everything by myself, as much as I’d sometimes like to. So in order to succeed I must be willing to share the proverbial ‘load’ as it were, and this act of sharing starts with getting to know those around me. It starts with me being ready and willing to look for the value in others. It starts with me using love to overcome apathy.

Such love does not come easy. It a channeled, focused thing that thrives with determination. It is a love that breathes best when given purpose, so I feed it with a philosophy built upon just that. I love best by getting to know those around me, and I know people best when I am in the mindset that our meeting is a purposeful, planned one.

I believe every person brings something to be learned and to be loved into the paths of every individual they encounter. I know it is not always easy to see this, but I also know love can overcome selfishness and pride and apathy should it be channeled properly in order to see the value of everyone. I know I am capable of this and every day I grow better at finding that value. I know others see the value in me. But most importantly, I know every day I can choose whether or not to look for this value, and it is the act of choosing to see purpose and to live with love that will propel me forward to be the best version of myself that I can be.

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Dragon Fire

 

They tell me
to write a poem about love,
And I find myself without the words for it.pen-and-paper-writing-9349790-1024-768.jpg

Me pen is parched and dry of ink,
unwilling to kiss the paper,
And who am I to force it to?

They tell me
to write a poem about love,
And I am a ship plagued by doldrums.

A vessel with sails aplenty
but they are apathetic and unwilling to billow.
And who am I to command them to?

They tell me
to write a poem about love,
And I find myself crafting countless metaphors.

All are means to disguise,
all to hide the fact,
I do not want to.

I have known
the kind of love
They want to see.

That love is hot;
full of infernos and tornados and heat.
It is a love birthed in dragon fire.

But every dragon
I have tried to tame
Has left me charred and choking on lies.

I am scared to fight those beasts again.background_fire_theme_by_lockeliefather-d85ka9h

They tell me
to write a poem about love,
And I find myself defensive.

Not because I am scared of love.

But because I fear what happens
when the flames shrivel and die.

When there is nothing but ash.
When I am nothing but ash.

I am not scared of love,
But I do fear dragons
And the two are cousins at the best of times,

They tell me
to write a poem about love,
And I can feel the sparks kindling

in ashes I swore
were too cold to burn.
And who am I to stop them from lighting?
And who am I to let them?

Please forgive my apprehensions,
but I am tired of setting myself on fire
for people who will only watch me burn
and call me beautiful for it.aruba-caves

They told me
to write a poem about love,
and I am unsure if it fills me up or leaves me echoing.

I find myself walking
towards the caves
where lizards larger than life lay waiting.

I have been bitten by their kind before.
yet I can’t help but be optimistic
That this dragon will not to bite.

Photography and Other Arts

Author’s Note: This is the first piece of poetry I have ever had published. It was published in Polar Expressions Publishing’s poetry anthology ‘Insight’ in the early spring of 2014. 


1388978_origI fall in love in a series of snapshots.
Quick pictures taken of you when you think no one else is looking.
My eyes are the camera lens,
my brain the film your image is pressed upon,
And my heart is a scrapbook littered with stolen photos of you.

The first time I see you, you’re like a sunset on an ocean backdrop.
Bleeding fiery oranges and reds into a sky that has only ever known a million shades of blue.
You are art in a case and as I press my fingertips firmly against the glass,
I finally understand what they mean when they say
the Mona Lisa really is smiling just for me.

Being with you is living in an ever-playing symphony. Every second a new trill of notes is played,
more brilliant and beautiful than the last.
The fingers that I cannot quite grasp pluck the air like harp strings.
I know were those same fingertips dance across my body,
I would sing for you like a fine-tuned piano.

But falling out of love is like reading the plot to a drugstore paperback tragedy.
Slow, painfully so, and completely predictable
Almost as if the author had grown weary of their work halfway through
The plot is bled dry of emotions and it overlays within itself,
nothing more than a tired, faded echo.

And as I flip through the scrapbook I almost drowned to protect
From the rising tide of loneliness and contempt
I find its pages are already soggy and water-stained with an overflow of emotion.
I see nothing but faded photos with faces smudged out
And the backgrounds blurred.