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CAN YOU HEAR ME?

You crumble softly, Quietly,
Subtle in your glorious defeat.
You are alone. Solitary
Strength. Leaving behind little crumbs, hoping
Praying you will one day find your way back
Home, or someone might follow them to you.
You are drowning. Parts of you—
Who you once were— diluted in the water.
Dissolving away. Parts of you
You thought you owned.
You are eroding. Etched away into a vast sea,
Leaving sharp edges. Broken glass
Shattered. Never to be whole again. Your screams
Are suppressed by the deafening roars of the waves
Crashing onto the shore.
You idly pull against the tide, Kicking,
Scratching, flailing about. Desperate to be freed
To spur the slightest disruption, a ripple
In the midst of an ever-rolling sea
But you are no match for the
Mighty arms of Poseidon.
You are Poseidon’s Prisoner. Property.
He strings you along to wherever He so desires.
You must know how small you are.
Powerless. Pulled, pushed, stretched. Yanked
Back and forth. Dizzy…
Someone hear my cries
Someone stifle my screams
Someone dry my tears
Someone help me. Please
Salt water fills your lungs,
Your insides, Sizzling—
And you scream, your throat burning
Burning with a fire in the vast sea.
Your rage surging in flames beneath the surface.
But the tide suffocates your fire.
You Fight for every breath.
Your feet grope for the shore but the ground has
Fallen from beneath you.
You must know how far you have drifted.
Still, you desperately grasp for anything that feels
Familiar, as a child reaches for their mother.
For anything that feels warm
Like Home.
But alas, all you feel is the water slipping
Through your fingers, mocking your futile efforts.
The disappointment creating a sort of
Hole in the pit of your stomach.
Shattered hope.
Oh, how to trust what you see before you
When you know your sight is impaired. Flooded by
Salt water to which your eyes have become
Accustomed
And you’re not certain of whether the
Salty searing sensation in your
Eyes are from the heavy waves or the
Saltiness of your own tears—
Tears which once belonged to you but are now
Carried off by the tide. Seamless
As they leave your eyes and float away.
Mingle with the dark mischievous waters
Until they become one. Betrayal.
You desperately call out for help but
The rest of the world lives on the shore.
Sunbathing. Listening to the calming sounds of the ocean.
Which almost looks… peaceful

From afar.

Can you hear me

ALS Heroes Family Photo
Image of a man with ALS

TRUE COURAGE

True Courage is not denying the cards you have been dealt. Rather, it is knowing that you can still win a game with a bad hand. And when the odds are not in your favor, you keep moving, knowing there are still things you can control. 

True Courage is surrender and it is resilience: it is surrendering to what you cannot control, and it is the resolve to take control of your destiny, which is still in your hands. It is coming to peace with your circumstances and learning to rise from the ashes. 

True Courage exists in moments of weakness: moments where it seems the whole world is falling apart; moments where you have reached your breaking point and are so close to giving up. These are the moments when True Courage can be seen most clearly, because True Courage exists in the ability to take another step when you have hit rock bottom. 

True Courage is when the human will overpowers the fear of defeat. True Courage is not short-lived… it is a constant flame which does not die out, no matter what forces flood it. It continues to burn because of this undying will. And because even in the face of ultimate defeat, this will continues to be a source of power and faith. 

True Courage is faith. Whether secular or not, faith in something is necessary in order to be Truly Courageous. Faith in oneself. Faith in one’s destiny. A staunch belief in something that cannot be explained. 

CHANGE

Life is fickle.
In a split second, everything can change,
In the first cry of a baby,
In a last breath.
I’d like to think there’s a reason.
A method to the madness.
That every winding path is meant for a destination.
But I don’t know. I don’t know anything.
I guess that’s why they call it hope.
And not truth.
In life, there is intense happiness, intense warmth, intense love.
There is also intense sadness, intense anger, intense pain.
It makes up the balance of the universe.
We cannot have one without the other.
Sometimes, I think I’d rather not have either side.
That I’d rather live in the middle.
But now, I know that that is not living.
Because in every intense moment of pain, there is a newfound appreciation of every intense moment of love.
In every intense moment of fear, there is a new reason for hope.
So yes, I do believe there’s a reason. No matter how small or how large.
There is a method to the madness.

Image of group of people looking for a cure for ALS
Image of man looking for cure for ALS

JOY

Joy is relative. Different for everyone it beholds. It’s unique in its own way, neither right nor wrong, hot nor cold, sweet nor bitter.

Joy is personal. It’s something you have to feel for yourself; nobody can feel it for you and nobody can give you theirs.

Joy is bold. Makes the rules as it goes, bows to no one. It is an exotic creature in itself with mysterious ways. The moment you stop trying to understand it, only then will it open up to you. You are submissive to it. You cannot hold it in chains; you must set it free. Let it reveal to you its ability and it’s potential.

Joy is power. it’s a glorious flame which flourishes and flows in complete synch. Every subtle, smooth movement with a larger purpose. It can be harnessed but never controlled. It pulls you into its current.

Joy is harmony. it exists in the moments where everything fits together in a perfect click and everything in the dark remains unknown but you make peace with this and can bask the warm light above.

Joy is everywhere, eternal, everlasting, encompassing. In the deepest depths of distorting darkness, lies a microscopic spark of blinding light… joy is hope. Joy is the tunnel transporting at the speed of light out of the pit in which you lie to a brighter more beautiful paradise.

Joy is fickle, it’s momentary. Held in a minute, second, millisecond of intense warmth and serenity.

Joy is slippery, slipping through your fingers; like a firefly in your hands, so small, so tender. Lying in your palm. Vulnerable yet powerful. Its light streams through your fingers and no matter how hard you try, you cant conceal it.

WAIT

by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, He replied.
I pleaded, and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, “Child, you must wait.”

“Wait? You say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why.
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.

“My future, and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me ‘wait’?
I’m needing a ‘yes,’ or a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no,’ to which I can resign.

“And Lord, you have promised that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive. 
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking: I need a reply!”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God; “So I’m waiting, for what?”

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes met with mine
And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, darken the sun,
Raise the dead, cause the mountains to run.

“All you see I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust, just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence was all you could see.

“You would never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth and the beat of my heart.

“The glow of My comfort late in the night’
The faith that I give when you walk without sight;
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinate God who makes what you have last.

“And you never would know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’
Yes, your dreams for that loved one o’ernight could come true,
But the loss! if you lost what I’m doing in you.

“So be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all…is still…wait.”

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