use it

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This is a hard chunk of life.

It almost seems like grace isn’t enough for all of this. I don’t know what is enough for all of this. I could have a million words and it would not convince a person filled with such hate for another person.

I’ve been without my phone for a few days, which means I haven’t been keeping up with everything, all the time, everywhere. Some part of that is very liberating. But then I got home and turned on my computer and saw the things you saw and were already speaking out against.

It breaks my heart. I know it breaks yours too.

Your silence also breaks my heart. More importantly that some of you have that hatred in your belly, and while you don’t adhere to these practices, you live it all the time. Sometimes you teach your children or grandchildren the ways that you hate something and you plant an idea into their innocent bellies. No one is born with the knowledge to hate another.

So you are responsible for the love and hate you speak. Always, forever and ever.

If you are silent about injustice, you are not on the side of the oppressed.

No, you don’t have to hold up signs or go to rallies — but you can, with a small word or change of heart, heal something much bigger.

White folks — this isn’t about being a hippie anymore. It’s about doing what’s right. You love and pray to God for peace and for all things to be made whole?

Well guess what — it is up to you now.

None of the “world has fallen/man has sinned/we are forgiven” excuses that make you comfortable in your recliners at night. We don’t have time for that anymore. But you do have time to speak love and teach younger more innocent things what love is and what love can be.

And if you don’t believe in a God, that goes the same for you. Being human is a real thing. And we are seeing the ugly underbelly that never rests. Truth is, it’s always been there. Always will be there.

But, you are a light and you are a voice.

use it.

use it.

use it.

 

boy_singing

finding your voice (when you already have it)

Food

Whether it’s your writing, your art, or your food; there is something powerful about someone discovering their voice.

Yes.

Voice.

It’s been on my mind a lot these days.
And you know what it’s like to see other people who have found theirs. It’s what makes them drive their point deep into your belly. And voices, like people, come in all different shapes.

One of the hardest things about writing is voice. In any form of art or creative thinking — finding your voice is usually the most frustrating. We tend to emulate others we respect and in doing so, sound a lot like them. But people have already heard them before.

You want people to hear you. You want people to understand. Getting that across to those not in your head is hard.

And this is something I’ve been talking to people about lately.
I’m not really for those kind of blogs that give you step by step solutions to things, which is why I don’t really post many recipes. I’m not that skilled of a cook or a writer or a person, so I don’t want you to see me that way.

But there are some things that have helped me in discovering a voice for myself.

Regardless of what you do, do it a lot. 
If you want to sing, sing a lot.
If you want to write, write a lot.

If you want to cook,
I think you get it.

mannequin1

I think it’s important to copy things you like, but only for a little while. Start adapting things to how you work. If you like Stephen King as a writer, you’ll probably find yourself writing short stories in the same tone. (None the less, terrifying and brilliant.)

It goes the same with cooking as we copy recipes out of a book and with time, add more of this and more of that. (Or less!)

Use your intuition.

In all of these things, you are creating your voice.

And people will see that. People are already seeing that in you. Especially when that voice becomes confident and fierce.

You will be unstoppable. (Within the means of law, unfortunately.)

Have fun with it.

You probably aren’t pursuing meaningless work. Maybe you are for the sake of a good salary and benefits. No one is to blame you for that. But it’s important to also do something you love. My Paw-Paw has this saying (which I’m sure he got out of Reader’s Digest) that if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll never work a day in your life.

But that’s also not really true. Because work is work. It will suck sometimes. But when you are in pursuit of your voice, it’s refreshing. It drives you to be better. It helps the fact that you stand on your feet for over 10 hours a day. Or ball up paper and start over again and again.

You will mess up and struggle with it. Don’t expect it to be perfect.

But at some point, we all have to move. And to do that with intention and drive is what makes our voice louder than others.

Even for us quiet people, our voices can be loud.

It’s also not something we necessarily have to create, but something that, for lack of more profound words, defines who we are.

We are moms and dad and grandparents. Your voice is who you are as a teacher, how you treat and teach your kids. How you work and what you put into it.

It’s how much you want to learn and what you want to do with that knowledge. And like I said before, it’s about moving forward with that knowledge. It’s about what you give back.

Don’t think of it as something that is far off — you’ve always had a voice, and you always will.

You don’t have to go far to find it.

Just pull out a sheet of paper.

A pen.

A pan.

An instrument.

An onion.

 

…And make it yours.