A Backward Glance


in spite even of the archenemy sorrow,

one can remain alive long

past the usual date of disintegration

if one is unafraid of change,

insatiable in intellectual curiosity,

interested in big things,

and happy in small ways.

by Edith Wharton

Open Letter

From 20 feet away, I dream of an America that listens to the quiet murmurs of truth in the barely audible moments that happen between groundbreaking events.

To This America of Bootstraps and Brawn,

We are all responding to this universe, this magnanimous beating heart. That is all we are ever doing, responding to grace. All these seemingly ordinary moments are always grace. It is a kind of incomprehensible order of things. A madness that is piercing and true. Even when our ears are full of static, it is there beneath the fuzzy crashing sounds.

There is some saying or not a saying really, but more of an idea that recognizes that some things are too beautiful or too bright or too large or too something to be completely recognized or understood. It is like that. Monet’s water lilies on an infinite canvas. Up close, we see only haphazard brush strokes – some white, some green, some blue. But from 10 or (even better) 20 feet away, it is this amazing portrait of life. This genius man who captured the sparkle and transience of life in motion.

From 20 feet away, I dream of an America that…
Listens to the quiet murmurs of truth in between groundbreaking events.
Rewrites the virtues outside of Hollywood.
Takes time to read the labels. Those young adults that say “handle with care.”
Stops and thinks. Stops and listens.
Recognizes that true lasting strength is defined delicately within very fine lines.
So thoroughly practiced in speech and action that it simply is.
The way she said, “Thank You” or the way he said “I love you.”
Did they really mean it? Do they really see me?
Are they speaking truth or just words.

I hope you keep this in mind as we build our future together. I really hope we can make this work.

Forever yours,

The Long Way


of what runs through me at night,

“All things human take time.”

Felicitous arrival as an anthem for heartbreak is,

Validating a period, a spectrum of feeling, so acutely.

“All things human take time.”

I forgot how words resonate deeply;

I forgot to spend time with things like poems.

Despite my forgetting,

Despite my lack of eloquence,

Despite speed, sound bites, newsfeeds,

The next iteration of iPhones,

The work week, our click-happy America,

“All things human take time.”


On the Pulse of Morning


 Offering you space to place new steps of change.

Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me…

Here, on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, and into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope —
Good morning.

by Maya Angelou