A poem about courage.

I woke up this morning with words all over my sheets. It was as if they’d spilled out during the course of my slumber. Ands and ifs on my pillows, metaphors stained the comforter, similes colored my clothes. I was covered in them and they kept coming. Even now when I opened my notepad to write about ‘Courage’ everything but the word bubbles the the surface.

Courage is an act. It is being poetic when the task calls for being literal. It was my fear when writing my dissertation. It was my fear when truly writing a piece of work that is mine because every piece I write for me is a poem. No. Every piece I write Of me is a poem. It comes. Beautifully unsolicited.

I have wells and springs and reservoirs of words inside of me. I wanted to be a dancer to get them out. To say the words I cannot yet pronounce or have no shared meaning yet but certainly have a shared understanding. I wanted to move for my consciousness, I think someone could feel it.

Inside me resides the crux of a gift blessed upon me to open people up, not to me but to themselves. How did you know? People have asked. I didn’t. God did. I am a vessel of movement of communication. The spirit of the entire universe uses my words to speak to others. That is the purpose of my words. Of my dance. Of my being. I do not have to compose to be a writer. I am a writer walking down the hallway. I speak with smiles and the sway of my arms, the shift of my hips and the click of my heels. I make music in my motion and the entire composition is a song. A poem set to rhythm and the pulse is a life given to be lived courageously.

The enormity of my task used to feel overwhelming. As I said to a friend last night, “it is good to feel uncomfortable [in a place you’ve always felt comfort] because it means you’re about to grow.” As the words spilled out of me into the space between us that we shared she smiled and I did to. I recognized the lesson in my own voice. I, too, have been growing.

The timing feels coincidental but of course is by design. That as I prepare to sit and compose work that requires defense, I have shed skin of worry and really of shame. Not completely, I’m sure, but enough to see my own skin clearly rich brown kissed with sunlight: There I am. I have been called to Be Seen and I have answered to be both seen and known. I never cared much for the latter. But I’ve realized that it is not about me. I am called to have the courage, to do the work, and the work is to let go.

When you wake up spilling words out of your openings, to give them a medium and do not let them go to waste. When you have an idea to give it’s consideration due diligence. To be curious about your gifts and to take your pleasures seriously. To live in the space between the noise of the world and the silence of your heart and when you lean too closely to the place where only God dwells, to be able to return to the world remembering who you are and to act accordingly.


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