Can I tell you something, quiet,
because my voice is coming back from a very thin place,
like when I used to read books aloud all day at my children’s school
and could only croak raspy strings of words when the day was done.
But I want to croak it, even whispered,
that love is stronger than fear.
Because it’s September, and talk of terror fills the streams we sometimes have to wade
and it reminds me afresh what pierced my heart that day so many years ago
when the buildings came down,
and I don’t want to take it for granted,
this voice that is mine
and the brief breath of days we are given.
For me, September raises her hands like the choir director I adored as a girl,
her fiery red hair wonderfully unkempt and long arms stretched out calling,
calling to each of our voices
as she tugged at the songs still sleeping inside us.
I now know why she pulled and stretched and wouldn’t accept the slumber we kept.
She knew she was standing on sacred ground
that something real was unearthed by the rising of our sound.
I want to live it out louder, the stuff I want left hanging in the air
if my body is suddenly torn away and my voice hushed,
to clear my throat and bellow out what my heart would grab on and fight, white knuckled,
to leave behind.
Weren’t they our voices that the terror came to silence?
To make our love grow cold?
So when we, even trembling, belt it out,
the song we carry inside,
we honor those who were taken, and those left behind.
“Sing out,” I can still hear her calling
and somewhere deep inside
I want to tilt back my head and bellow from my belly
that in every painful, vulnerable place
I will love life more,
pray and laugh and lift my voice more,
and take each breath I’m given
like it’s a golden ticket that I’ve won.
“Because hiding out, pretending, and armoring up against vulnerability are killing us:
killing our spirits, our hopes, our potential, our creativity, our ability to lead,
our love, our faith, and our joy.”
hey, I want to send a copy of my September Ripplesongs to the winner
of a giveaway this week; leave a comment and you’ll be in the drawing next Saturday!