If you'll recall, I told you a while back about how my very dear friend was riding his bicycle from California to New York with the purpose of spreading the word about suicide awareness and prevention and the healing power of art. His non-profit organization, RISE, is amazing. You really should check out their site. He and his friend quit their jobs, put all of their worldly possessions in storage and set out to make a difference. ANYWAY, I decided that I was going to do something pretty rad, and I began writing a piece of poetry as they were riding across the United States. It was hard because I couldn't move forward until they did. This was such an important piece for me to write because of the pride I have in those two and what they accomplished and I really don't have a better way to show them other than writing it down. It is sincerely humbling to have friends like these. So here it is. I call this one, "Rising in Three Parts":
1. An Open Letter to a Friend
I know you feel bruised and broken.
Shattered, inside and out.
But those pieces of you are precious to many.
Needed by all.
I beg you to scoop them up and keep them safe.
When you are ready, we will help you fit them back together.
Make you whole again.
Though you will never fit perfect and seamless,
you will be recognizable.
We will read between the lines of your scars.
Yes, you are changed.
In a way that is uniquely yours.
But still ours.
Rise each morning and claim your purpose.
Give your word one more time and make their memories come alive.
Drown out the noise of doubt and hear them calling.
Single out the one strong voice that says “go”.
Know your opponent.
Defeat is only a possibility. Not a probability.
Acknowledge this disappointment then shake off its ashes.
Wipe away the residue of previous failures to launch.
Shade your eyes from the light of 1,000 hopeful smiles.
See the people surrounding you.
Friendships forged in solidarity.
Finding comfort in the solitary.
The need to rise up every day. Ready to be knocked down.
But unaware of the difference.
3. Coming Home
Please note this part from me to you...
You have taught me a lot. Shown me more and let me see it all through your eyes.
But if you learned nothing else. If you forget everything but. Know this.
As you went by, each and every one of us snatched tiny little pieces of you,
and now we are all over.
They say that a house is not a home and they are right.
“My house is your house”, and always will be.
But your home should be where your heart beats. This is the easy part.
Because you found the why, and we’ll help with the how.