quoteThere is much wisdom in the quote above.  There are also many hidden questions and pitfalls.  While it is true that without change we cannot grow, it is also true that some change will stunt growth as much as stagnation.  Many people rush into change without consideration, a by-product of our rush-rush modern existence.  If there was a phone app which offered chances to change instantaneously, probably with some bright flashing lights and pirated 80s television theme song, a vast majority of Americans would download it without a second thought and say, “See how important spiritual growth is to me?  My phone tells me when and how to change.  It also tells me when to buy a taco.”

Purposeful change requires a sacrifice of time.  It takes careful consideration, intense focus, spiritual clarity, and Bigfoot’s fur.  Purposeful change is not a combo order at a fast food chain.  “I’ll have the number four, medium-sized, with Buddhist insight instead of regular fries.  And a Sprite.”  Purposeful change is not a late-night infomercial product.  “And with your order of Spirit-trex, the vitamin supplement guaranteed to change you for the better, you’ll receive this stylish diamond-encrusted yin-yang medallion worth $399 for free!”  Purposeful change is meticulously eliminating those weaknesses you hug close because of fear and strengthening those strengths you deny because they do not fit into society’s expectations.

Fear is the enemy of change and growth.  Even those of us who seem to be the right path for ourselves are often avoiding growth because of fear.  We avoid talking about our relationships with our partners because we are afraid of losing what we have.  We avoid confrontations because we are afraid of being hurt.  We fear the unknown potential, and cuddle close to the known reality – both the crap and the joys.

I am done being afraid.  I will change and grow.  I am the last of my line.  I will not leave this life without having lived it as fully as possible.  I dare you to join me.

Villanelle

My favorite villanelle is Dylan Thomas’s, “Do not go gentle into that good night.”  The form consists of nineteen lines, with two rhymes throughout.  The first and third lines are repeated in every verse, and the entire poem ends with a couplet of those two lines bringing a thunderous conclusion.  It is a simple poetic structure to learn, but a difficult one to write well.  Since I am a literary genius of the highest caliber, my villanelle is especially awful and grating.  You’re welcome.

Find rewards in long life’s journey
in spite of inevitable Pains
that work to break you from me.

The bitter pill of jealousy
can sparkling scenes distort and stain
Find rewards in long life’s journey.

Amidst dogged daily grinds we see
pricks and barbs of the jagged insane
that work to break you from me.

Yet when we struggle to climb a tree
the most succulent fruits we gain
And find rewards in long life’s journey.

We must listen to our destiny
to shatter free from those chains
that work to break you from me.

We can never know what will be
True happiness’s bane
Find rewards in long life’s journey
that work to break you from me.

I promise the poetry in my book, offered here, are even worse and better than that one.  Buy a copy today.  Or buy a copy of my collection of parables for gamers here.  Support a struggling artist during National Poetry Month.

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