It seems that we’re inundated with bad news these days. Sometimes it feels like I can watch the news for an hour or read the paper and not read or hear a single good or uplifting story. I suppose it’s possible that doom and gloom bring more viewers to a particular media source, but I know there are inspirational stories out there and uplifting happenings occurring on a daily basis. In fact, one of the drivers behind Live Inspired was to at least have one point of positive reflection and every day. When life gets too hectic or too dark, I can look at the daily quote and picture and gain some perspective on life.
Given that we are collectively choosing to be positive and find the upside in a world that is all too often focused on the downside, I would like to share a poem with you today. It’s by one of my favorite writers, Taylor Mali. You can learn more about Taylor at his website, read more poems and even see videos of his readings. He’s been featured in a number of places and one of his most famous pieces is titled “What Teachers Make” and he rarely gets the credit he deserves for this and his other works. If you like this piece, visit his site and do what you can to support your local artists (like ordering his book, for example). We all need inspiration in all of its many forms, now more than ever. If you’re inspired by the blog and the app and seek out the positive, show your support by buying the app and supporting Charley’s Fund. Charley and is family and the other families dealing with DMD are forced to find the silver lining when facing this disease. We all have a chance to help them and fund research that would very well result in an effective therapy for this generation of boys.
By Taylor Mali (www.taylormali.com)
I’m for reckless abandon
and spontaneous celebrations of nothing at all,
like the twin flutes I kept in the trunk of my car
in a box labeled Emergency Champagne Glasses!
Raise an unexpected glass to long, cold winters
and sweet hot summers and the beautiful confusion of the times in between.
To the unexpected drenching rain that leaves you soaking
wet and smiling breathless;
“We danced in the garden in torn sheets in the rain,”
we were christened in the sanctity of the sprinkler,
can’t you hear it singing out its Hallelujah?
Here’s to the soul-expanding power
of the simply beautiful.
See, things you hate, things you despise,
multinational corporations and lies that politicians tell,
injustices that make you mad as hell,
that’s all well and good.
And as far as writing poems goes,
I guess you should.
It just might be a poem that gets Mumia released,
brings an end to terrorism or peace in the middle east.
But as far as what soothes me, what inspires and moves me,
honesty behooves me to tell you your rage doesn’t move me.
See, like the darkest of clouds my heart has a silver lining,
which does not harken to the loudest whining,
but beats and stirs and grows ever more
when I learn of the things you’re actually for.
That’s why I’m for best friends, long drives, and smiles,
nothing but the sound of thinking for miles.
For the unconditional love of dogs:
may we learn the lessons of their love by heart.
For therapy when you need it,
and poetry when you need it.
And the wisdom to know the difference.
The solution to every problem usually involves some kind of liquid,
even if it’s only Emergency Champagne
or running through the sprinkler.
Can’t you hear it calling you?
I’m for crushes not acted upon, for admiration from afar,
for the delicate and the resilient and the fragile human heart,
may it always heal stronger than it was before.
For walks in the woods, and for the woods themselves,
by which I mean the trees. Definitely for the trees.
Window seats, and locally brewed beer,
and love letters written by hand with fountain pens:
I’m for all of these.
I’m for evolution more than revolution
unless you’re offering some kind of solution.
I’m for the courage it takes to volunteer, to say “yes,” “I believe,” and “I will.”
For the bright side, the glass half full, the silver lining,
and the optimists who consider darkness just a different kind of shining.
So don’t waste my time and your curses on verses
about what you are against, despise, and abhor.
Tell me what inspires you, what fulfills and fires you,
put your precious pen to paper and tell me what you’re for!