You may not know it, but in my heart of hearts I am a poet. I am a lover of language, a word nerd, a verbal visionary. Ok. Maybe that last one went a little far, but I love words. I love how they string together to form thoughts that explode into pictures in our brains. I love how changing the phrasing and emotion of a simple sentence can change it's meaning a hundred different ways. I love how that same simple sentence can evoke laughter, or tears or rage or hope. I love how words sometimes escape us and that weird little noise you just made, because man, 'you got nothin', says what a thousand words could not. Are you getting the picture? I LOVE WORDS.
I'm not the best writer. I'm not a great poet. I'm envious of those that can weave these intricate pictures of pure undefiled emotion and grab you so tight with a phrase that for a second you can't breathe. Those people are my heroes. Those people rock. So I'm going to introduce you to my newest love, my new best friend, his name is Shane Koyczan, and he is flat out beautiful.
The first time I heard this piece I was captivated immediately by his voice and the rhythm and flow of his words, but when he got to the part about his friend in third grade, I couldn't breathe. By the time he finished her story I was crying, and when he reached the end of this piece I was utterly broken and conversely filled with hope and love and validation. I think if you know me, that is, if you've seen me face to face, you'll understand my brokenness at these words and my validation at the end. You may not get it, and that's ok too.
I have watched this video dozens of times. I still cry every time.
This is the video for his project "To This Day" which is an anti-bullying project. I encourage you to watch it, get a feel for it, watch it again, think about the person in your life who most needs to hear this today, and pass it along to them. This poem blows my mind. Here's the thing though, and maybe it's a bit much for those of us who aren't total word nerds and or poets, but I want you to watch this one next. It's a live performance of two of his poems ("When I Was A Child" and "To This Day") blended together for a live performance. I love watching him perform. He's funny, he's sincere, he's heartbreaking and hopeful all rolled up in one. For my friends who may be sensitive to foul language, there is one instance of it here. I'm not sure which of the 3 of you that is, but, you've been warned.
I'm not going to tell my bullying story today. It's overdone. I tell it mostly to encourage young girls that are being bullied. I hope it offers them hope and strength. I hope it tells them "They were wrong! They have to be wrong. Why else would we still be here?..."
There is limitless power in words. Power to wound. Power to kill. Power to heal and to restore. How will you use your words today?