I met Mr. Henry last Saturday. He was avoiding the rain about 1/4 of a mile away from where I typically park at the studio. I noticed him immediately.
In his crisp whites and smooth tan leather shoes, sitting so peacefully under the grunge of the city bridge... my eyes were captivated and my curiosity peeked. I took a few photographs from my parking space, but I wanted to... needed to get closer, so I did.
We spoke about art, the neighborhood, he gave me some warnings about the area, physical insecurities, the weather, photography and a bit of our mutual story before I had to get going. He offered some words of encouragement and I was on my way.
I look forward to the day our paths cross again. You better believe I will be looking for him.
Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal.
– Elbert Hubbard
Over the past year life has taught me, and Love has basically slapped me in the face with, this truth: she is who is brave enough to live her heart out loud is truly free.
Each heart has a song. And it’s song longs to be heard and shared… it needs to be heard and shared. When each person is able to live out her passion, the world is a more beautiful place. I’ve always loved the words of Howard Thurman who says, “Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
His words are so true; the world needs individuals who have come alive. Our communities need them. Our families and friends need them. Our souls need them.
Lately I’ve been inspired, challenged, and even encouraged by those who bravely ask themselves “What makes me come alive?” and, in time, just do it. Some even make it a daily practice to examine their lives, asking themselves penetrating questions:
What drained me today?
What gave me life today?
How do I receive more time with what gives me life?
How do I lessen or let go of things–with love and grace–that drain me, both relationships and activities?
The list of names of those who have lived out their life’s passions, or calling, regardless of the risks, work, vulnerability, and time it requires, is as diverse and as beautiful as the world in which we live. These are individuals who have undoubtedly experienced much failure and disappointment, but they have also exhibited a deep spiritual quality worth emulating: the moral courage it takes to risk all–at least to onlookers– for a more personally meaningful possibility. I marvel at those who dare to do so, for they embrace this “aliveness” of which Thurman speaks…
Day by day, one step at a time, pushing past fear, impatience, failure, insecurity and/or whatever else may keep them still, they just do it.
At the sun’s setting today, our lives may not look like the full picture we’ve imagined for ourselves, but undoubtedly we shall be steps closer to that life than we were at the sun’s rising. So we hope.
Lanecia A. Rouse Tinsley