I remember what I thought when I got into this ride.
I know when this trip began and I know where I was
when I agreed to these terms.
I remember the promise I made to myself
which was more than just to keep myself accountable.
When I began, I decided that if I was going to write
then I would only write a certain way.
This was not for the crowd or to bring me to the reader
but instead, I decided that if I was going to start this trip
then there could only be one way for me to travel.
This has nothing to do with style or comfort or class.
No, this trip was bigger than all the above.
I had to agree to this fully and without negotiation.
More to the point . . .
I had to sign this contract right away,
because I know what procrastination means.
I know what it’s like to quit or give up – but not with this.
No, this was too big for me. But first,
I had to come to an agreement.
I had to set the standards and be very clear;
hence, I had to commit myself to this
with all my heart and all of my soul;
and with all of my might, all of my hate,
all of my hope, all of my doubt, and even with my contempt
and with my secrets, and with a full and total heart,
I had to understand that before I shut the door behind me
and before I turned the key to this so-called ignition,
I had to understand that there could be no turning back.
I had to understand
there could be no forced expression
or contrived appeal or even the slightest bit of art
to paint a picture of anything other than truthfully.
Should I take this spot,
I had to understand that all of this
had to be real and absolutely raw. Regardless of comfort,
I had to understand that while even the simplest truths
can be revealing and often uncomfortable,
should I choose to take this mission;
then I had to understand exactly what this entails.
There could be no pretense.
No lies. No flowery descriptions to be cool
or anything other than accurate.
I am only allowed to identify as me,
as I was or am or even will be
and not how I hoped or wished to be perceived.
Yes – I use the word raw,
as in uncooked and un-doctored.
I say this with meaning and I say this with pain
I say this with hope and I say this as a surviving member
of this so-called race.
A long, long, time ago; I learned the meaning of humility.
I learned that to be humble means to be honest;
as in no extra narrative to model or adhere to the ego.
I was taught that modesty is the absence of pride,
and I mean this absolutely,
which means that if I am to become “a writer”
(or whatever that means)
or if I am to write from the heart,
and to be brave, or that should I decide to accept this trip
and should I choose to take this ride –
then this would mean that here, even if no where else in the world;
right here, everything that is said here,
is real and from this point onward
anything I write to you
must be written with a modest and humble heart.
I took this on.
I signed on the dotted line.
I made this oath and to this very day,
I have kept this alive
and held in the palm of my hand
There is a question that I have heard
throughout my life. In fact, we’ve all heard this.
I have heard this more times than I can count
yet this question has an answer
that’s changed throughout the years.
What are you afraid of?
Some people lie and say nothing
Some people lie and say everything
Some people turn their head
and how the shade of their doubts
will cancel the light of their truth
Some of my fears are the same as when I was a boy;
however, my fear of the dark has somewhat changed and yet –
I understand what it means to be afraid of the dark.
I know all about the emotional quicksand
which sinks me down and while I fight to rise above the fear;
sometimes, it seems as if
I lose myself and sink faster
the harder we try to escape.
What is your biggest fear?
What are you most afraid of?
For this, I was inspired by the following:
There is a poem and dare I mention this poem
in fear that the brightness of its words
will only cast shadows across my own –
but, in loving fairness to the writer,
I offer this quote both humbly
and respectfully when I repeat:
”Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure,”
Marianne Williamson ~
I dare to begin with this because with all humility,
I am hereby about to declare my fears
and thus; in fear of the truth
which sheds light on the retaliation of my darkness,
I submit this to be laid here, to rest,
and thus, I will place this here,
to act in humble truth that my fear is in fact, alive and well.
As well, I expose myself this way
because fear is an excellent tool
to both motivate and incite
or even ignite the fires
that cause our soul to glow –
I don’t want to die . . .
. . . . not like this
I am only this, a small, human-like being,
and tiny in the face of so much.
Hence, these are my fears.
My biggest fear is not that I am strong or weak,
but missing and that somehow,
I am neither efficient or sufficient,
and somehow, with all my heart
and with all of the fight within me; I am just off to the side.
I am afraid that something about me is either out of focus
as in too odd to conform or
somehow I am slightly above the level
where I am too faulty
but not enough to be condemned
and so, then
I have to go at this alone
with no one to help me
These are some of my biggest fears
I am afraid that I will shoot for the goal and miss
or that I will be the joke
or the one who’s laughed at.
I am afraid that I cannot reach the meter,
that whether I stand up to be counted,
or that I am less-than or unworthy;
in all honesty and with all the courage I can harness,
my biggest fear is that I will never find my pride,
that I will never reach my best potential
and whether I am looked down upon for my honesty here
or whether I am deemed as less-than, lower, weak,
or unworthy, then so be it.
I am only me.
And being me,
at least I choose to fight onward
and to be honest
instead of acting or playing the part
and dying alive in some fake kind of formation
and rotting away from the inside out.
I am only me.
Therefore, I am offering myself to the mercy of the stars.
I submit to the sun, to the moon,
and to the universe and in complete surrender
I hereby bow and give myself to the unchangeable patterns
which are beyond my control.
I submit that all I am is honest and so,
rather than parade myself or pretend like
“I know” or act like “I’m safe”
when in fact, I am anything but;
instead, I would rather stand up at my weakest
and claim the pains that hurt me
than fake the charm and be someone else.
I would rather be honest that I am imperfect –
I am flawed and worried.
I am small and only a spirit amongst billions and therefore,
in fear that I will drown and be unknown or unheard;
and in fear that I will only exist
without ever learning what it means to be alive –
I will leave this here, with you
to act as proof
etched into the face of time
In the effort to become
“liberated from our own fear,”
I am here to embrace my fears
and not deny them –
This is my only hope
I am here to express my truth
and not hide from it.
I am weak and I am strong but before I am anything,
I am the only determining factor
that will decide whether I stand up on my own two feet –
or I will quit and whither
and wilt to the powers that be –
My biggest fear is me.
I have known this for a long time.
My biggest obstacle is me.
My biggest challenge is me.
I have the right to improve.
I have the right to adapt and overcome.
I have the right to redirect myself
and to change my mind so that I can
learn how to change the direction of my thinking
and while yes, the world will not always play fairly
and yes, the ride might get bumpy sometimes
and even downright uncomfortable, at least
I know that the road ahead of me bears fruit
which promises me more than
the unforgiveness of lonely self-destruction.
No one ever told me life would be this hard –
and, even if they did, I’m not sure I would’ve understood
unless I tried this myself
and experienced the hardships
on a first-name basis.
My Mother used to tell me,
nobody ever promised you a rose garden.
Then again, I’m not looking for a rose garden.
I’m looking for this thing we call salvation;
hence, the reason for this ride.
Hence, the reason for this journey because for me,
I took this trip because I needed to find something with substance.
I signed this contract because in my darkest moments,
I chose a path that did not promise me heaven –
only a way out of hell
and a warm moment which is something I choose to call
What am I afraid of?
To fall short.
To quit on myself
To experience the old feelings or the old mindsets
which come and rob the mind
of its logic to keep us crazy
and make sense of the imaginary catastrophes –
until they become real.
I have devoted myself to this trip
which, thankfully now,
I have someone along for the ride –
I don’t have to fear the dark anymore and to this,
I say, “Until Valhalla”
as is in the hall of Odin,
as in, to where the souls of heroes slain from battle
and those died bravely
are entered and graciously received.
I have this dream to which
with all I have and all I’ve endured, survived,
or lived through, and to which I submit here, and now,
at some point, I know that I will stand up to be counted
and while I might not have hit the mark
or reached the meter – or even if I come up short
or fall below measure –
the one thing that no one can take from me
is that I stood here on even ground
with faults and all
and even through times of disadvantage,
no matter what – I never gave in.
I might have bled,
but I never died
And so, this is all I have left
And too, this is all I can do to destroy my fear
because soldier or not, this is what I do
to survive the battle, to keep myself brave
and keep moving forward
Until Valhalla . . .
This is all I have
This is “My Everything”
With all of my heart,
I submit this to you
ongoing for always . . .