She radiates fire and demands justice be served to those who have so wronged others.
Flying faster and harder than had been known for her species before, the bird pushes through the sky.
She dodges buildings and trees and airplanes as they seem to leap into her path.
Still faster and faster she flies.
Into the darkness.
She knows that she can fly harder, so she does. And she’s carrying extra burdens, extra weight to carry with her. Sticks for her nest, food for later.
Still she flies. Pushing through the sky.
She knows that if she burns herself out, it’s fine.
She’s a Phoenix. She will always rise from her ashes.
So she continues to fly and fly and fly.
But something changes.
She loses her grip on the burdens. Sticks start to slip from her grasp.
A predator swoops in, steals her food, and is gone before she’s registered what’s happened.
She’s left with nothing but herself.
Still she pushes on.
Through the sky.
You see, she’s set herself up to compete with birds of other species. Smaller ones, faster ones. Ones who can travel at that rate.
A rate at which she was not meant to travel.
The birds of other species love the Phoenix, but they don’t understand her need to keep up with them.
For she is a fine bird. But the Phoenix does not see it so.
So she competes.
Until it’s too much.
She starts to burn, but she doesn’t fear. She knows she will rise again from her ashes.
So she embraces the warmth.
Until it’s gone.
It’s just her mind.
Puzzled, the other birds gather ’round the ashes, waiting.
Although a different kind of bird, she was unique.
Setting her standards high and her expectations higher proved to be her downfall.
Tentatively, the other birds approach the ashes.
There, they spot it. The tiniest baby bird, unlike that of a Phoenix.
It’s still the Phoenix, but the others don’t know it just yet.
She’s taken on a new form.
She’s smaller and lighter, but she cannot carry the loads of her past self.
She must only carry herself.
Whether she will grow into a better bird is yet to be seen.
But, she must start from scratch.
And though she does not yet realize it, she has a whole group of other birds who will show her the way.
As she rises again, yet not the same.
This is a first draft.
What does it mean to relocate?
We can relocate our lives. We can take new jobs and move to a new city, state, or country. We can move within our own city and feel as though we’re relocating.
I’ve recently moved from a townhome into an apartment in the city, and I feel like I’ve moved halfway across the country.
We can even relocate our relationships, in a way. We can change our focus, we can move away from relationships that are causing us harm. We can move toward relationships that provide value for our lives.
I’ve had quite a few people relocate in my life, some people who are very close to me. Some relocations by choice, others by necessity.
Personally, I love moving. I always reach for a chance for a fresh start. I love being able to start over and say, “let’s go.”
I kind of see “relocate” as “restart” or “refresh.”
This can happen at any time, even in the middle of a day.
You can physically move, you can move your thinking, you can move your focus in your life.
You can relocate.
Okay, firstly, I hadn’t intended on publishing something twice in a row. This is my 100th post, and it’s not what I envisioned sharing. But this is the world we live in now, and I can’t make happy, woo, cutesy posts when our world is continuing to face terrible acts of injustice, murder, and hatred.
Over two years ago, I wrote and later published a post about my feelings on the so-called Islamic State.
In those two years, my knowledge and understanding about how they work has grown.
I’ve started speaking out more about them, as well as many other injustices happening around the world. Since publishing that post, I have made an effort to not live in my bubble of ignorance. I’ve started protesting and educating myself and people around me about what’s going on. I’ve become particularly passionate about what’s going on in Syria.
Okay, enough intro. Here’s my follow up on The Bubble of Ignorance, especially in the wake of the attack on the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Once again, it’s unedited because I just wrote it.
Here you sit, in your bubble of ignorance.
I suppose it’s better than indifference and apathy.
But you laugh at me
When I call you out.
“What more can I do?” You say, as you scroll through Facebook endlessly.
Your thoughts and prayers are with them, you say,
When in actuality,
You’re hoping that I just go away
And let you return
To your bubble of ignorance.
Because you can’t be blamed for not acting
When you simply didn’t know
About the killing
Or the drilling
Or the missing
Or the chilling scenes of death, despair, and destruction
That flood my Facebook feed, but somehow you’ve tailored your feed
To only show you things you want to see.
But you know what isn’t?
That you get to sit happily in your bubble of ignorance
While PEOPLE in Syria
And around the world
Are trying to get to safety.
Are risking everything for their family.
When all you risk is your “image.”
“Facebook should be about happy things,” you say.
Fine, and by the way,
Your privilege says, “Hey.”
You can’t rush away from this injustice.
Now, trust us,
You’ll be asking for trouble
If you’re caught
Sitting in your bubble
Ten feet away, an idol stands at a microphone in front of her.
The idol announces that her turn is up in 3, and she isn’t sure
whether she’s ready.
She’s never been one to be so real
in front of strangers, and she doesn’t want to steal
the spotlight from people
whose stories matter more than hers.
Not that she thinks she’s any good.
It’s the opposite. She supposes she could
decide to leave or withdraw, but she sticks it out.
She practically blacks out during the next two sets,
but she tries to focus.
The man before her is powerful
with a message that empowers.
Will her message empower?
But it’s her turn.
The idol returns and announces that she’s up.
Is that really her name? It sounds unnatural, and she wants to throw up.
But she stands up
and faces the open mic.
I did my very first open mic the other night. I read Stubborn and Enough. I think it went well, but it was terrifying. Thanks to everyone who supported me that night, and special thanks to Kristine for taking me.
A lone bag slouches on a shelf.
Filled with books, all ready for tiny hands.
A lone being approaches the bag, smiling.
It lifts the bag and brings it to a cart.
It’s filled with other, bigger bags.
A day passes.
The bags wait.
The being returns and moves the cart to a vehicle
Where it loads the bags and cart.
The vehicle moves for what seems like ages.
The being is back, and it lifts the bag and carries it into a house.
After some time, the tiny hands appear.
Two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, too many to count.
They empty the bag.
Waiting to be refilled, it sits on the floor, satisfied that it has brought the books to the tiny hands.
A month passes.
The being returns.
The bag is refilled,
Reset in the vehicle,
Cleaned, and set on the shelf
Where it will wait for the next being who will transport it to new sets of tiny hands.
What is success?
Is it a grade? A number? A pay check?
Is it measured with happiness? Education? A piece of paper?
Is it a big house, with a nice car, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a white picket fence?
In school, is it what you learn in a class, the grade you get, or both?
At work, is it the money, the praise, the patrons, or something else entirely?
At home, is it a safe place, a welcoming family, a cat?
What makes someone successful?
Is it a legacy, a memory, or what you experience while alive?
What is success?