1,000 miles: step 17

“I suppose, I love this life in spite of my clenched fist.

…we all have different reasons for forgetting how to breathe…”

Last Wednesday, my English professor shared Andrea Gibson’s “For Eli” with our class. He said the video was a response from one of our classmates to a class discussion on war. He meant, timid Claudia had shared the video.

Sometimes, I have no courage to share my opinions with the world, let alone a crowded room full of young and old. I have been silenced much too often, and it hasn’t always been by others. The mere knowledge that I have so many obstacles ahead is often enough to defeat me. I can blame it on my immigration status, but that wouldn’t be the complete truth.

But when I do manage to stand before my own college students, I will give Ms. Gibson a well-deserved introduction. She is a-maze-ing. Amazing. Her voice has the power to make one shiver. Her words echo in your ear, and sometimes, taste like the gentlest kiss.

There are poems of hers that remind I will always be 13. I will always be a child uncovering the bitterness of life. I will always be falling into pieces. And yet, she makes the breaking so beautiful. I don’t know why I didn’t come across her sooner. At 13, I knew singers: Kelly Clarkson, Sia, and Pink. Musicians, not poets.

And I must believe God created poets to remind us not to take life for granted. Pain is the first note to the tune of happiness.

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