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a promise to splash more in 2023


I used to think that

achieving inner peace

would make my heart look

like a calm lake


I thought being in harmony meant:


no ripples

no waves

no lapping shores


~ just still water


it turns out that

serenity isn't the absence

of movement


in fact


~ it's quite

the opposite

because the more

peace I feel


the more my heart

churns and bubbles


like a lake boiling

as a ribbon of lava breaks through

underneath the water


I don't think we were created

out of nothingness to come

here just to let our hearts become

an unmoving body of cold water

covered in standing algae


I think the Great Love placed

a fire in us so that our lives will

be a natural spring of swirling

hot healing water that never

looks the same way twice


the war machine thinks

it is the only thing that can

move and lumber


~ and that's not simply true


peace is the most disturbing

force in the universe


peace is the tide that washes

away the ancient seaweed of

division that builds upon our shores


peace is anything but still


it's a tsunami that can terraform

rock fortresses into open-air chapels


my love,


I'm starting to realize

that the less my heart moves


~ the heavier it gets

~ the more dust it collects

~ the less kindness I feel


but when I let my heart

constantly stir

like a cotton candy machine


~the lighter and

sweeter it becomes


empathy is an act of chaos


it takes the narcissistic scripts we have been given

and rewrites them into a handwritten gospel of understanding


peacefulness is

anything but still


~ it is pure motion


peace is the ripple

that starts in the center of my heart

and rushes out through the faucets

of my eyes, hands and tongue

out into the world


we aren't here

to be stagnant


we are here to make a splash


~ john roedel





(photo by Sabri Tuzcu)

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