Raised by vigilante guardians armed
and rubber mats instead of concrete
and plastic instead of wood
and nothing hard
and nothing sharp
and PTA meetings
and HOA meetings
and after school activities
and before school activities
and bible studies
and youth group
and church on Sunday morning
and church on Sunday night
and church on Wednesday
and church on Thursday
and church before church on Sunday
and mission trips
and adopt a hungry third-world orphan by mail
and not too much fat
and not too many carbs
and no gluten
and no meat
and it’s no wonder we grew into repressed voyeurs of blood spattered cartoons
and parachute off bridges
and surf on subway train roofs
and do backflips off buildings (Parkour! Parkour!)
or just watch it all cowering behind screens,
and flinch at a knock at the front door
safe from the legions promised by the 10 o’clock news
waiting to kidnap, rape, murder, or, worst of all, swindle us;
because we’ve learned this lie well:
that we must be special weak and stupid to require such protection.
safe and bored,
protected and powerless,
nothing to fear
and no cause for bravery,
nothing to do
but comfort —but don’t dare threaten comfort!
lest you suffer the venomous memes and vicious one star reviews
and passive aggressive jokes-but-not-really-jokes.
but stronger than we know.
hiding unfathomed depths of bravery.
Gullible click-bate meme virus vectors; science-porn addicts
who never learned how to maintain committed relationships with knowledge;
still we have wisdom we haven’t yet understood.
Our righteous rage explodes
in the general direction of injustice….
and is as quickly diffused by our righteous indignation with each other and ourselves.
Choose your legacy and pursue it with relentless patience and determination. Choose not to fail
or fade out
or roll credits
or end the story
or live happily ever after
because the story is not over after it ends.
It keeps going
and fifth seasons
— the finale is not final.
But don’t just watch.
Preach and be convicted
because your sermon was really your conscience screaming at you
to get out of bed
to put down your iPhone
to go talk to someone
or do something impossible
or figure out how to love that person that you hate so much.
Be terrified and do it anyway.
Relate with the un-relatable.
See beauty in everything –
See that seeing ugliness is just being blind to beauty;
be injured again,
be healed again,
and do it again
and do it again
– not to get tougher scars,
but to be better healers;
then go heal someone.
be unashamed in your
A white lie is just censorship for the truth that scares you.
Don’t spend more time being afraid of your own truth
than other people spend even thinking about your truth.
Don’t wonder in fear what people think about you
because they probably don’t even think about you.
and be preached at
and don’t take any of it personally,
but still listen.
Listen without believing.
Believe without knowing.
Know without taking any of it too seriously.
And when this body this form this self this ego is needed no more, then die in bliss embracing the abyss.
Death holds no horrors for those who have truly lived.