Just a little thought for your Saturday …

Sometimes …


There’s more than one way to look at it:


(These little messages written on the Downtown Charlottesville Community Chalkboard).


things left unsaid …

Whatever you’ve been meaning to say … I hope you say it today:


Speak gentle.

Speak thoughtful.

Speak breathless.

Speak bold.

Speak honest, even if honesty feels rusty in your mouth. 

Go on now. Take a breath …

Begin again. ❤

Almost Poetry

Oh, God, if only you might give me the words …

… to speak the song the cicadas are singing —
that murmur and hum filling the trees.
But their song is wholly their own,
and no matter what words I use,
mine would only be a poor copy —
and why bother to copy such a thing,
when anyone can go out on a summer night
and sit spellbound to the sound
of the original?

But oh, God — I beseech you —
we have stopped hearing it.
A thousand nights these voices sing for us,
their words worn-out white noise,
the meaning lost like a long-ago first language,
so that in the song we hear no language at all.
And, oh, God, if you might give me the words,
perhaps I might shake us out of deafness,
so we might stand stunned under the canopy:
silent to it.  Listening.

Oh, teach me to sing it:
a hundred thousand voices
whirling wild in the trees,
filling the green air
with buzzing vibrato,
crying out over and over:
Love me, Love me —
the summer is short,
this life is so brief …
oh, love me while you can —
You!  Yes, you –

while my body can still sing,
still love, and sunlight still
spangles the branches …

Which I guess is the same song
we’re all singing,
after all.

Thoughts in Progress


I’ve built my life around words:  planted them like seed, panned for them like gold.  I’ve gone out into green valleys and collected words like rainwater, storing them up for seasons of drought.  

This is what my kind of people do.


There are days when words feel too small for me — a poor, mealy-mouthed language too paltry to say what must be said.  On those days I dance.  I paint.  I reach for my camera.

And lately, I’ve found myself speaking wordless prayers.

So today, I’m praying this:


I want this, and this, and this:






I go out into the green world and I ask for what I see — for my soul and for yours.  

For the parts of us too wide and deep for talking.

I sit still, and I say nothing. ❤


Secret Messages

Kind Graffiti: the Art of Seeing (& Sharing) Beauty

Remember when I started The Secret Messages Project?


It was New Year’s Day and my heart was cold — almost frozen, in fact — but I knew that if I could fill my city with kind words I might be able to feel the warmth of that kindness.

(That’s how it works, you know.)

So I wrote kind words on small stones.  I wrote them on long strips of paper that I rolled up like scrolls, and I hid those words inside museums, under bridges, beneath rocks on mountaintops…  And I was warm.


Meanwhile, something special started to happen:  I started to see kind words all over the place.

I saw these messages inked onto the planking of a lookout tower in Miami, Florida:



I saw this almost-poem painted in the back room of a bookstore in Charleston, SC:


I even saw this little affirmation, scribbled in dry-erase marker on a restroom mirror in a North Carolina Starbucks, and it felt so familiar I couldn’t help but smile:


And all of this reveals a truth that keeps telling itself to me, over and over:  You try to do good, and you learn to see good — magic and mystery all around you, waiting to be plucked like low-hanging fruit.

That isn’t to say that the ugliness isn’t real, because it is.

But the beauty is real, too, and I’m determined to see it…


As always, I hope you’ll come with me. ❤