Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hard Words to Say

These are hard words to say and sometimes I just don't know how to say them. Or sometimes, I'm worried that, if I say them, you won't hear them right or you'll hear the wrong tone and you won't understand what I'm trying to say in the first place.

So I say different words. And we talk about different things. Because the things I really want to say are too hard, too fraught with danger, too untrustworthy.

But, the hard words are still there. They haven't gone anywhere and there are parts of me that still need to say them. That still need to be heard. So I bury those parts and I bury those words and we don't talk about the things.

Because they are hard to say.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Safe in the Harbour: Following Your Own Dreams

When I got involved with being a Celtic Thunder supporter, I was a passionately exuberant fan. There were a lot of reasons for that - some of them personal, some of them less so. But, one thing that drew me was that there was something quite inspiring and rewarding about watching someone achieve their dreams. Real life Cinderella stories played out in people I'd actually spoken with.  Perhaps, it's something of what draws us to watching shows like American Idol and the like, too. Very simply, it was a fun thing to be involved in.

And involved, I was. I threw myself headfirst into participating, supporting, and promoting in any and every way that I could. I was delighted if those things contributed in any way to the success of the artists I admired. And even if they didn't, I was thrilled just to see those people succeed, anyway. In many ways, there was nothing wrong with that delight. Wanting to see others achieve their dreams is a good thing.

One of the members released his first solo album a couple years ago, and on it, he covered a song called "Safe in the Harbour" that began to really speak to me.

"Some men are sailors, but most are just dreamers
Held fast by the anchors they forge in their minds.
In their hearts they'll know they'll never sail over deep water
To search for a treasure they're afraid they won't find.
"So, in sheltered harbours, they cling to their anchors
Bank down their boilers and shut down the steam
And they wait for the sailors to return with their treasures
That will fan the dull embers and fire up their dreams."

Every time I heard it, it nagged at my heart. And I ignored it - because listening meant change. But, when I could ignore it no longer, I began to understand what it meant for me. You se, that well-intentioned desire to see people I barely knew attain success had become my personal top priority. It was what I worked for. Their success had become mine - only it wasn't true.

For as fun and rewarding as it was to see their dreams come true (and it was), the truth was that their dreams weren't mine. I had my own artist's heart burning within my chest. But, by throwing my all into fanning the embers of someone else's fire, I was pouring buckets of water onto my own. There was simply nothing left for me.

There is great value in supporting each other's dreams. We should all be doing that for each other. Supporting, encouraging, sharing each other sensibly when we can and helping each other up when we fall. But, we each are given a burning purpose in our hearts and souls, and they are each weighted with value. When we douse our own flames to make someone else's more valuable, we insult the impact that we were meant to have.

It's not a bad thing to support someone else, and I don't mean to communicate that there is. There is good in that and likely none of us would see much success if we didn't share that support. But, I was wrong in how far down that road I allowed myself to go. I dishonoured my own passions and talents. I disrespected my own dreams and value. And those were wrong things.

Balance is a good thing. Support each other, but follow your own dreams, too. Not just someone else's.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I Thought I Would Be Different

I thought I would be different...  when I got through it all.
And I was. I was different.
I saw things different. I said things different. I felt things different.

But I was the same, too. I had the same past and the same face and the same pain and the same happy.
and I wasn't really sure how to be both.  To be both the same and different.
Perhaps I'm still not sure.

I'm still the same. And I'm still different.
But I don't always know which I want to be.

And I guess that's okay. It's okay to have changed.  And it's okay to have not changed.
And it's okay to be both. and it's okay to not be sure which I am at a given moment.

It's even okay that I see things in me that maybe others haven't seen yet.
It's okay that I'm not always who people think I am.

This "becoming" business isn't always pretty. There are stops and starts and they don't always make sense.
It's a twisty topsy-turny road...  but honestly, I wouldn't want to be on another.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Great Thief

Where you've been isn't necessarily where you're going.

Are you one to focus too much on what's happened in the past?  I definitely am, and so I am probably the single worst person in the world to preach on this.  I have walked through this lesson more times than I can count, and most likely, I will walk through it again a countless more before I really internalize it.

But, what I learn over and over is that focusing on the past only robs us from being able to focus on the present, and in doing so, we miss our future. That's too much to miss.

Sometimes what has come before is so haunting. There is pain and regret, what-could-have-been's and choices you wish you had made. There are words that were spoken, some by you, some by them - and sometimes those words just hang about in the air, a whisper in your ear of what things you can't seem to walk away from.  And so I understand when the past seems too heavy to escape.

But, if you can walk out from underneath its weight, and if we can do that together...  there is much waiting for us here. There is beauty and sunshine and... just life to be lived! People to meet, experiences to be had, relationships to enjoy.

Don't let your past steal your future.  Let it go... and embrace what is here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Tales: The Clock Tower



I looked out the window and I watched the hands move on the clock across the courtyard.  Minute by minute, they ticked away.

I'd always knew this day was come. When I got involved, I knew what could happen. But somehow, I never thought it would happen to me. Like I was immune from the risks inherent in the situation. Sure, I knew others who had fallen. But me?  Never. I don't think it really ever entered my mind that I would somehow ever be here in this room, facing what I'm facing today.

I thought I was superhuman.  But, as it turns out, I'm just normal-human.

The hands ticked again.  Up to 12.  There was a pause, as if the clock itself was inhaling sharply, unwilling to toll its bell and signal the beginning.  I waited, and eventually it could stall no longer.

The bell rang out.
The door to my room opened.
And suddenly it was all dark.

Today was Execution Day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Back to the Start

"Let's go back to the start," we said. "Where it all began and let's start over..."

and so we tried. But, it never quite worked.

I think that's where we messed up -- by trying to go back to the start.  Because you can't do that, not really. You change, they change, we change. And going back to the start is trying to go back to fixing something with people who don't even exist anymore. You can't build a relationship on ghosts.

What you can do is start again, but where you are. But, it's not going back to the beginning. You have to deal with what's come between the start and the now.  You can agree to forgive each other, and that can be a part of the dealing and the healing. But, you can't go back and pretend that those things didn't happen, and you can't pretend that those things didn't mean something.

Because they did... if they didn't, you wouldn't need to start over and you would have no reason to even want to go back to the beginning.  They meant something.  And because they meant something, they matter and you can't just ignore them and hope they'll go away. They mattered and we need to respect that.

But, just because you can't go back to the beginning doesn't mean that you can't still have something beautiful. It might be work for a little bit...  but beauty is not easily achieved.  But, when you get there, it is sweet and it is beautiful and it is worth it.
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