Don’t See Me! I’m Sneaking!

In the days when my family was very young, my parents lived in a double-wide trailer on the family farm. I have vague memories of this house, which we now refer to lovingly as The Blue House. It was situated at the bottom of a hill which held two massive rock piles we aptly named The Big Rock Chuck and The Little Rock Chuck. Back then I thought they were completely massive. (Age and perspective, as well as later visits, have assured me that The Big Rock Chuck is, in fact, quite massive. The Little Rock Chuck, not so much.)

mountainsMy mother had a rule that we were never supposed to play on The Big Rock Chuck, which was a rule we obeyed most of the time. When I was that age I imagined that these huge rock piles had once been a medieval castle. The home of a great king who ruled the land with power and influence. I even imagined once, when I found a formation of rocks that looked rather like a chair, that I had found the ancient location of the throne room.

And this was the playground of my youth. In front of the house was a stunning view of the mountains and a wheat field that was brilliantly gold in July and August. It was absolutely stunning. A very rare place to have a very rare childhood, I now realize. But as beautiful as it could get in the summer, it was equally beautiful in the winter. The entire land is covered in a thick blanket of snow until you can’t really remember where one field ends and another starts, and every here and there telephone poles jut out of the blank canvas. It’s lovely.

But there were dangers.

In the summer, the biggest danger was always rattle snakes. Oh, we got super good and hearing them and running away really fast to get help. If they were far from the house we would leave them be, but if they were close to the house my dad would come home from work long enough to kill the snake and dispose of the head. (It’s still very venomous and dangerous even after being separated from the body.) It was something he’d been trained to do his whole life, as shown by the little green jar of rattles he now keeps on a shelf behind his desk.

But in the winter, the danger was the ice and snow. On the farm, the winter can get exceedingly brutal. Very high winds, unheard of low temperatures. You name it. Winter as epitomized in every “I’m-lost-on-a-mountain” movie ever made. Winter is kind of scary at the farm.

It is in this context that one of our very favorite family stories occurred. The characters of this narrative are my mother, angel that she is, and my older brother Jud. He was about two years old at the time, which means that I was not a being who yet lived upon the earth. However, this is one of my favorite stories that we bring up as a family.

One snowy day, my brother Jud wanted to go outside and play. However, my mother wouldn’t allow it for one reason or another. Probably because we lived in the North Pole, or close to it, anyway. I think the weather was particularly harsh that day, and so for obvious reasons my mother didn’t see fit to let her two-year-old go outside and play.

This, however, did not stop Jud.

One thing it is necessary to know about Jud is this: he gained the nickname Mowgli. mowgliSome of you may immediately recognize this name for the character in The Jungle Book. Jud became Mowgli early on in life, and to this day he still responds to it occasionally. Why was he named Mowgli, you may ask? Because he never, ever, ever kept his clothes on. He ran around in a diaper or his underwear until he was fairly old, but I’ll keep those details private for the sake of his modesty.

So, on this very snowy day when my mother informed Jud he wouldn’t be able to go outside and play in the snow, she discovered him only moments later at the back door trying to open it. Wearing a diaper, boots, scarf, and hat. At seeing this sight, my mother asked, “Honey, what are you doing?” Jud turned around, facing her with wild eyes as he responded:

“Mom! Don’t see me! I’m sneaking!”

When I was three years old my family built a house in town. We now lovingly refer to this residence as The Town House, even though it was not, in fact, a townhouse. Merely a house that was located in town. For many years we moved back and forth between The Blue House and The Town House. Blue House during summer and potato harvest, Town House during the school year.

When I was probably about eight years old we began living permanently in town, as we’d given the use of The Blue House to my aunt and uncle. That was hard for us, but a few years later we moved back to the farm permanently to a different house and have been very happy with that choice.

Now, in this time of life when we lived permanently at The Town House, I was what you might call a daddy’s girl. I spent as much time as possible with my dad. We were the very best of friends. Which also consequently means that I probably got away with more things than I should have.

One night I remember very clearly. My older siblings, rebellious teens that they were at the time, had all been banished to their rooms. For reasons I do not know and can only attribute to my status as the favorite daughter, I was not forced to go to bed. I was sitting by my dad’s chair watching a movie with him and my mom. When very suddenly, a major rule was broken.

audreyOne of the bedroom doors opened. And one of my siblings emerged.

Completely unheard of under the present circumstances of: go to your room and go to bed. Do not come out until morning.

It was my sister Jessie. Ever the bold one.

She emerged from her room wearing a huge, poofy blue parka with fur around the hood and a large pair of sunglasses (very Audrey Hepburn). In this disguise, she walked through the living room and into the kitchen, got a glass of water, and then went back to her room.

We. Laughed. So. Hard.

My dad literally could not be mad at her. Her disguise was everything she needed to gain access to the kitchen and a drink of cold water. Mission accomplished.

What I absolutely love about both of these stories is how blatantly obvious, and quite hilarious, the “rebellion” is. Jud was very clearly not going to last out in the snow in his diaper, boots, and hat, and Jessie was obviously recognizable despite the parka and sunglasses.

But they tried anyway. One successful, the other not. Both equally funny.

I’ve been thinking about these stories today, and what they mean in several different contexts. And interestingly enough, I have found a parallel between these stories and something else. Something that makes so much sense to me.

God knows us perfectly. Completely and perfectly.

It is like the story of Jonah and the whale in the Bible. Jonah legitimately thought he could hide from God. And while Jessie didn’t legitimately think she was fooling anyone in her disguise, but she knew she had humor on her side. In Jud’s case, he was just fiercely hoping he wouldn’t get caught.

I know that I have done similar things a million times.

Sometimes it can be so hard to understand that God knows and loves us perfectly. Sometimes we try to hide away from Him, disguise our lives, or sneak away. Sometimes we have experiences where we just want to move in our own direction, in our own way, and throw behind our shoulder, “Don’t see me! I’m sneaking!”

But even though we are intelligent beings with our own minds, our own plans for cherishedourselves are never as amazing or perfect as God’s plan for us. Surprisingly, though, it takes a fair amount of humility and courage to admit that we shouldn’t be sneaking into the snow storm.

I love that these stories brought me to this spiritual parallel because both of them are some of the funniest stories in the family repertoire. And when compared to our relationship with God, it helps me remember that He loves me completely and perfectly. And yes, He can see through my disguises and see me sneaking, but He always loves me.

He knows.

Perhaps that can be ominous, but for me, it is the biggest comfort in the world. I don’t have to hide anything from God. Because He knows me. I can be completely honest and transparent with Him because He understands. He gets it.

So while the world may be confusing at times, or even a place of turmoil, I never have to be afraid.

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Say It In Writing

biggerWhen I blog, what I’m really doing is writing down all of the things I wish I could say out loud. I think it’s probably like this for most of us. Especially the writers. Writing is the way that we say the things of our soul. The things that we are thinking, feeling, and knowing, but can’t actually say.

I’m not sure what it is about our world, but none of us ever say what we really think. It’s much too raw. It’s much too real. And when we look back on it we have a tendency to be embarrassed. We have a tendency to wonder what we were thinking when we were so unabashedly ourselves. Or at least that’s what happens to me.

Honesty has been hard for me lately. Not because I’ve been lying like crazy, but because the truth has been very painful. I have let fear get in the way of my life for the past several weeks. And when I made one tiny move to try and let go of this fear, it proved to be a little anticlimactic. Even stupid. Go figure.

I wish I could explain to you all of the times I’ve prayed and gotten amazing answers. One of my friends told me today that God has been spoiling me recently, and I couldn’t agree more. It really is true. He has been. I’ve never been this close to Him in my entire life. Which is actually really good because I’m carrying a lot of crap around inside of my heart right now. And it isn’t very fun.

But what I really wanted to do tonight is say a few things to the most important people inchapter my life. I want to say what’s in my heart, and let them know what I’m actually thinking. And when I come back and read this blog post I don’t want to be ashamed. I want to be proud of myself for being this brave. I want to be okay with being vulnerable again. I want to be okay with saying what’s in my heart. Even if it hurts. So here it goes:

A: How could I ever explain to you how amazing you are? Seriously I’ve known you for such a long time and you never ever cease to blow my mind. I just want to be a fraction of your type of cool. You have so much strength in your heart and it honestly leaves me in so much awe. I hope that when you look in the mirror you see the woman that I see. We both know that I have a gift for seeing people as they really are, so don’t try and fight with me on this. I’m right. You absolutely shine. Thank you so much.

M: Thank you for teaching me how to be a dreamer. I wish you would stop dreaming and live your dreams now. Don’t be afraid anymore. It’s time to live. Just do it. Please.

perfect goodD: Thank you for teaching me to be a doer. I love you very much. Please don’t forget that sometimes your heart’s more important than your mind. In fact, I honestly think that that’s where all of our truth is. I wish you could see that.

H: Please never stop laughing. But also please remember that it’s okay to be sad. You don’t have to be perfect, and in fact you never will be. We’re all here to help each other. That’s the point. Thank you for holding me while I ugly cried, and smoothing my hair. And buying me Jimmy Fallon ice cream. And loving me through every disaster. You help me believe in the redeeming power of love, and that as long as we trust each other we can do anything.

S: You’re probably so tired of all that I have to say. And I wouldn’t blame you. So here’s all that I have to say this time: if God tells me to be patient with you one more time I’m going to lose my freaking mind. I’ll either have to actually do it or just be in open rebellion, harderwhich I don’t see ending well. Actually I tried that angle for a while, the angle of “oh my gosh I am so done because this bloody hurts” and suffice it to say… it didn’t end well. I laughed, but I’m pretty sure He was serious. I’ll tell you that story some day.

K: You’ve gotta trust yourself more than you do, girl. I wish you could see how incredibly bright your eyes are. There is so much there it kills me. Don’t let fear run your life anymore.

J: I love you so much. You teach me so much as our lives continue to unfold. But I wish you would stop treating me like an innocent child. I wish you could see that I have scars, too. The other day you told me that you kind of gloried in my pain, and that hurt more than I can ever say. I’ve experienced a lot of hurt, and a lot of things that have changed logicme. I’m not who I was in those days. And there were things about that person I was that you’ll never know or understand. She spent so much of her time being angry about love, but in her heart that’s all she really wanted. She wanted to believe in it. She wanted it to be real. It was all she really, really wanted. She prayed for it every day. That’s who she really was underneath everything you saw. I hope that someday you can trust me with every vulnerable part of you. That someday you’ll stop thinking that you have to change what you think because you’re with me. But dude, you’re a freaking rock star. Thank you for that.

homeJ: Just don’t be scared. Live your life as brilliantly as we all know you’re going to. And don’t you dare think for one minute that you have to prove us wrong or prove us right or prove anything. Do what makes you happy. Just let your awesomeness shine. And don’t you dare give up.

C: Where would I be without you???? I just have absolutely no clue. You are the greatest human. The greatest. The purest of cinnamon rolls. Thank you for being an amazing friend and an incredible woman. Seriously, you are the big sister in our friendship. It doesn’t even matter that I’m older than you. You have so much in you and it is dazzling.

certain thingQ: You make me believe in the goodness of humanity. You are the human that I’ve always wanted to be, but will probably never be great enough to be. But I’m so grateful for you in my life. You are #goals. Thank you.

Love,

Jordan

What Are You So Afraid Of?

The subject of fear has been on my mind quite a bit recently. And I will be completely honest and tell you exactly why: I’m a pretty frightened person.

This is not something that I’ve known about myself for very long. Mostly because I try very hard to be brave. But lately I’ve begun to realize that there are so many things in this world that I’m afraid of. Fear seems to drive just about everything that I do. It is very tempting for me to succumb to fear, and very often I do.

fear-indicationInterestingly enough, I think that the thing I fear the very most, above anything else in the world, is being happy.

Can you even believe that?

I have met so many people who fear being happy, and it is always for different reasons. I have some relatives who are so comfortable with their misery (health problems, financial problems, etc) that being happy would almost be worse. Because trust me, folks, being “comfortable” and being “happy” are two very, very different things. After a while you become comfortable with just about anything, but being happy is something else.

But like the human that I am, I never stopped to look inside myself and wonder if I was doing the exact same thing.

This isn’t to say that I’m not a happy person. I have so many blessings: wonderful family, great friends, a job, ambitions. Overall my existence is a very happy one. But I think that every one of us, no matter the stability or goodness that surrounds us, all have at least one dream we are reaching for.

But being happy is, oddly enough, a scary thing. All sorts of questions come up for me when I think of what it would be like to be truly happy. Questions like: do I dare? What would happen? Where would I be? What would that mean for me or my family?

Most of these questions stem from the fact that I, like many others, have a really hard growthtime trusting others. To be truthful, I’m not exactly sure where this trust thing started with me. I grew up in a large family with lots of older siblings who made really dumb choices, and as a result I learned to just rely on myself. It is infuriating, even to me, how hard it is for me to trust others. I am your classic “I’m afraid of getting hurt” human. Talk about cliche. Gag. (I usually avoid being cliche anything. I hate being like everybody else. Don’t even get me started.)

So if I were to be truly happy, if I were to live these dreams I have stored away in my heart, I feel like I’d always be waiting for something bad to happen. I’d always be looking for the catch. I’d be tempted to wait for the dark places, and then be all “I told you so” when I ended up crying in my room over something I felt like I ruined.

When it comes to fear, I honestly believe that we are our own worst enemies. And for that matter, this also applies to happiness. It can get so frustrating and I just want to shake myself and yell:

What are you so afraid of?

But I think the curse of the human soul is that we are so infinitely more than a body that we occupy. And whether we realize it or not, we’re pretty deep. So the whole “I’m afraid of getting hurt” thing is quite valid. There’s a lot of unknowns in the soul that we’re trying to work with, and getting hurt is definitely an over complication.

believe-thinkI often have these exhilarating moments where I throw all my fears out the window and decide to just go at this life thing. Unfortunately, they never last long. I’m too much of an expert at getting inside my own head.

I wish I could end this post by saying that I’m not going to be afraid anymore. That I’m not going to fear happiness, that I’m going to stop retreating into myself at the slightest sign of danger. But if I say that then I probably will not do it on purpose because this is the type of personal contradiction that I have to navigate daily.

So I’ll just end it by putting the question to you:

What are you so afraid of?

They Vs. Me

Sometimes I wonder about the word “they”. If you look up the definition of the word, among other things heavy in grammar language, you’ll find a definition that states: people in general.

I’ve been wondering about this word because it keeps coming up a lot. You hear people say things like, “They wanted me to do this.” Or quotes that read, “They said I couldn’t…”

done in loveIt is the second instance that has gotten me thinking recently. The hundreds of thousands of variations of the quote: They told me I couldn’t, so I did, are meant to be inspirational and motivational. I totally get that. But here is my question. Who are “they” exactly? And why were you listening to them in the first place?

I recognize that in your life, their are genuinely people who are going to tell you that you can’t accomplish something great. But in the spirit of complete transparency, I have to be honest and tell you that the person most often saying that to me is me. Not them.

While I think that the sentiment of doing things despite failure and hardship is completely worthy and wonderful, I don’t think that it should be the sole motivator in why we accomplish good things. Because that is just revenge masked as your success story.

As I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve realized that the reason for success should never be because somebody told us we couldn’t. And we also need to realize that more often than not, we are the ones saying those things. Not them.

In the end, you are only responsible for you. And I firmly believe that so much of the time, we create our own barriers and limitations. We are the ones holding ourselves back from the wonderful things we want to do or be.

It occurs to me that the real reason behind all of this is fear. We are afraid of failure or limitmistakes or looking like we didn’t do the right thing. It is what holds us back from telling people we love them, or pursuing that outstanding career, or starting a family. As much as fear can protect us, it can also hurt us.

When I think back on the most incredible times in my life, I can tell you with complete certainty that those were also the times that I was totally and completely terrified. I had no idea what I was doing, no idea what would happen. But I went forward because I couldn’t deny that I knew what I was supposed to do. I went forward because, despite the fear, I knew something great was coming.

And sometimes I’m in awe of that girl who did those brave things, and I wish  could be like her every day. Because instead of doubting and belittling myself, instead of creating my own barriers, for once in my life I moved forward with complete faith. I pushed aside the fear. And I’ve never been more grateful for anything.

More than we realize, I think that they keys to our happiness are right in front of us. In our sight, and within our reach. It isn’t up to “them” to tell us what we can and cannot have, and nor is it the job of fear. Maybe the real key here is to open our eyes a little bit, and look past the barriers we put ourselves behind in order to see what has been there the entire time.

Hold On Loosely

The light was orange and fading, the air a little muggy with the fresh water pooling at the bottom of plants. My hair was hold on looselyshort, my feet didn’t touch the ground, and I held a half full Pepsi can in between my legs. The diesel pickup was roaring beautifully as we drove, acres and acres of potatoes spread out before us, the plants’ flowers blooming in a beautiful carpet next to the gravel road.

This is a memory that I have etched in my brain from when I was a little girl. I was with my dad, driving around the farm in the summertime as he went to check fields. He always likes to do that, drive around and look at things as if the plants won’t grow without careful supervision.

And if there’s one thing about this memory, and my childhood in general, that I can say it is this: the music. Although I don’t really play an instrument (I did play the flute for four years but haven’t touched it in a long time), music is a huge part of my life. Almost every memory I have of growing up is attached to music, this one included.

In this particular memory I believe that my dad was playing “Faithfully” by Journey as we drove. My parents did a great job of having us listen to all different kinds of music growing up, and as a result I’ve got a pretty wide range of tastes in music. But 80’s rock definitely had it’s place in our house, just because that’s what my parents listened to as they met and dated.

But the last couple of days, one song that I grew up listening to has been particularly sticking out in my mind. In fact, my mind has been racing with so many thoughts tonight that I’m not certain if I’ll be able to get anything across, but hopefully I’ll get some of it out.

The song is “Hold On Loosely” by .38 Special. The lyrics of this song have always captivated me, but just the other day the central idea hit me like a brick wall:

Just hold on loosely

But don’t let go

If you cling too tightly

You’re gonna loose control

As if to hit home to me some more, I was reading a book the other day and I read something almost identical to these lyrics. The author said something close to, “When we cling too tightly to things we, and everybody around us, become too uptight.” As all of these experiences came together, I had a stunning revelation.

I cling too tightly.

reflectionUpon further reflection, because believe me this revelation needed some intense personal reflection, I was able to analyze it more fully. It’s not people that I cling to, oddly enough, it’s ideas. Feelings. I miss old friends that I needed to have leave my life simply because of the feelings associated with them, the times we shared.

I could probably write a novel of everything that I cling too tightly to. I cling to emotional things because I think that if I do, then maybe they’ll stay, maybe I’ll keep them safe and they can just be mine and nobody else’s. But I’ve realized that when you have this mentality, whatever it be that you’re clinging to, it quickly turns to poison. And something that once brought you all the happiness in the world is now eating away all of that joy.

I will share a very personal example of this observation. There is somebody I’m trying hard to move past simply because months of hopes have been turned over to a bitter reality, and those same hopes are clinging fiercely to the walls of my mind and no matter how hard I try I can’t brush them off. And now hopes that once brought me, you guessed it, hope and happiness are just bitter reminders.

I love what the song says about still holding on, and never letting go. It isn’t that we hold onto nothing, keep nothing in our hearts, and just breeze past the world. A) is that even possible? and B) it’s not healthy. We need things to hold on to, we need love and happiness and families and faith and favorite songs and books and whatever else it is that we tend to cling to. But when we get to a point where we seem to have created this perfect place, this place where all of these things we cling to exist, that’s when the possibility of poison creeps in.

My writing is another example of this. I am the only writer in my family. And when you come from a large family like I do, having something that is just yours is really, really neat. I have always been really grateful for the fact that writing is my hobby and passion and ambition and nobody else’s. My siblings have similar things in their lives and I’m grateful and happy that they have things that bring them similar joy.

But I’ve noticed that when I cling too tightly to the notion of writing, bad things happen. The “I’m a writer and not you so getwhat you cling to outta here and don’t you dare steal my passion” mentality always leaves me with zero creative juice. The fear that things that are special to me might get taken away possibly comes from being on the younger end of 10 children. Don’t even get me started on the time my older brothers broke my little doll wagon by sitting on it and pulling each other around the house. That one still hurts.

The point is that even though there are millions of writers out there, I am a writer, too. I have that talent, too, and though I may not be where I want to be with it I have a piece of this talent that nobody else has. And with it, I can create beautiful things as long as I let myself and stop worrying that something might go wrong with it. I can’t hoard my talent for fear that it will go away, in other words. Because, honestly, the times when I’ve felt the least like a writer are the times when I tried to hoard my abilities.

And this same thing goes with all of the things we find ourselves clinging too tightly to. The minute that we start clinging too tightly is the moment that we have the least control, the moment that we start to lose what we fear losing. So I guess the answer, interestingly enough, comes from a 1980’s rock song:

So hold on loosely

But don’t let go

Something Real

We live in a world of complexities and paradoxes. Of opposites. There is right, and there is wrong. So often these days I think that the line between the two is immensely blurry. And we get all of these things thrown into our faces about being “real” and what it means to be “real”.

reall areSocial media runs everything we do. This world has turned into a place where we are worthless without technology. It’s necessary for me to say to myself, “Take away the technology, the social media, all of that. Take it away. Do you still know who you are?”

I think most of us have this genuine need for privacy. Because of that, we get this skewed perception of what everybody’s life is like. We look on social media and see the happy faces. Then we get uncomfortable when we see the occasional midnight rant or revealing post from somebody whose life isn’t going very well and they decide to publicize it.

I’ve been going through this strange phase in my life where I am having a hard time distinguishing what is real and what is not. Let me explain. I am pulled one way by somebody’s opinion of what they think life is and what it should be, and then another way by somebody else, and then another way by somebody else. And so at the end of the day I look at all of these things and compare them to my own thoughts on life, and I just end up confused.

Sometimes I wish that I could just stand somewhere and yell for everybody to hear, “There is so much about what you’re doing that doesn’t matter! Family and faith are what truly matter. What are you doing? Where are you going? What is truly important here?”

But then I find that I’m guilty of it, too. I’m stuck in the same problem that I see. I want something real. I want to have a life light woundthat is open and honest. I want to be known as a noble person, who will always defend what she believes in and rely on what she knows to be true. But I find that, all too easily, I get caught in this whirlpool of lies and deceit, things that the world tells you that aren’t true at all.

I can post a cute picture of my nephews and I on social media, but that doesn’t really communicate that I cried myself to sleep the night before or that my life has ended up in a place I’d never even imagined. I can write a funny blog post, but that speaks nothing about feeling unwanted, labeled, and taken advantage of.

But we can’t just go around throwing our problems in everybody’s faces, either. Because the truth is that we are all struggling, we are all fighting some type of battle. Can you imagine how horrible that would be? Good grief, I’m almost crying just thinking about it. Talk about depression and negativity running rampant! Bleh…that doesn’t sound appealing at all. So what do we do?

One of my very favorite passages of scripture reads, “The truth shall make you free.” And another also says, “Men are that they might have joy.” If we combine these two very powerful ideas, something beautiful happens. We are here to be happy, and we are free to be happy when we embrace truth.

commandmentsI believe in truth. I believe that there are eternal truths that will never change, regardless of whether or not we believe in them. I think of it this way: the Law of Gravity would not cease to exist just because we all decided we’d rather float. Truth is truth, no matter what. Truth is real. Love and light are real. Darkness is also real, but darkness is not a force. It does not move. It is simply the absence of light.

There is nothing wrong with walking through darkness. We have all done it, are doing it, and will continue to face darkness throughout our lives. It is the way God intended life to be. There is so much to learn, and how else are we to learn it if not through experience? But just because we find a shadow in our path does not mean that we are unable to turn on a light and bring it forward as we walk. Perhaps even the light will be dim, it may flicker. It may even go out. But there is always a way to turn it back on.

The last year and a half of my life has been harder than any I’ve ever experienced. And I don’t think that this particular time of struggle is yet over. But the last several weeks, especially since returning home, have been astonishing. I’ve been able to find so much love and light along my path. Though I believe it is a lesson that takes a lifetime to master (perhaps longer) I’ve tasted what it is like to find joy along with the sorrow. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about life, and about God.

So maybe that is the secret. We can choose to spread darkness, or we can choose to spread light. We can choose to time is valueacknowledge that there is darkness, but focus on the happiness instead. We can choose to be thankful, no matter what. We are a race of warriors. We fight for life and love and happiness. At the end of the day, we fight for what is real. There has to be opposition, or there would be no point. Without opposition, there would be no books, movies, or music. There would be no life. Hard things happen all the time. That’s just the way it is. It can be crippling. I know. But here are are a few other things I know without a doubt: the sun will rise again, God is always there, and there is always hope. What sort of wonderful being is God shaping you into? What spectacular things await you if you will but believe and endure?

That is real.

.

Fear No More

“Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.”

This is the beginning of a poem by one of the most amazing people who ever roamed this lovely earth of ours: William Shakespeare. Please, reader, come back, come back. Do calm the fearful pounding of your heart, I can hear it from here. Continue reading, please glance back up at the title of this post if you must. Reread the beginning of this beautiful poem. Now, let me begin.

I love Shakespeare; with all of my heart and soul. The works of Shakespeare are brilliant, pure genius, and whether you realize it or not they have impacted each and every sphere of your modern, non-Renaissance life. The works of Shakespeare are beautiful.

So here is the news which I would like to share (old news, new news, and such news as you’ve never heard of! –The Taming of the Shrew): fear no more! Please, dear reader, fear no more! What is to be feared anyway? Shakespeare, after all, wrote what he wrote for you: the audience! And as such, you are meant to take something from his works. You are meant to enjoy them.

Fear Shakespeare no more! Fear the messages no more! Fear the beautiful language which nobody uses anymore no more! And read a Shakespeare! A tragedy, a comedy, a history! Read Shakespeare! If I could teach one thing to those younger than me it would be this: Read Shakespeare and see what loving it will do to your world. I’d love to hear your experiences! And remember: “…there is no darkness but ignorance.” -Twelfth Night  

So, why fear the light?

Find more of this poem at the following link:

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/13783-fear-no-more-the-heat-o-the-sun-nor-the