Endings are Beginnings


Pain is not the enemy.

You need not arm yourself

against it,

or hunker down hiding

in a cold trench.


What would happen

if you invited it in,

let it stay a while?


You might find that it

won’t riddle you with bullets

and leave you lifeless.


If you sit down with it, stare it in the eye,

befriend it,

it may reach out,

gently brush the hair from your face

and whisper into your ear.


Later, you will realize that it was

this moment, the one you feared

would be the end of you,


That was the beginning.

It was the moment

that divided your life


Into before and after,

the moment that

catapulted you into kindness.





The good news is that it’s not dead–

That tiny seed within you of

the “you”

you were meant to become.


It was nearly choked out

by the invasive weeds of

your parents’ approval

and the promise of a steady paycheck.


But somehow,

it survived

while you became

what the world expected of you.


Because once,

the 6-year-old you

fortified it

with a dream of becoming a superhero.


The good news is that

despite your most valiant efforts to kill it,

it’s not dead.

It’s merely dormant.


I plucked a

cool grey stone

from the stream's sleepy bed.

A perfect stone-skipping stone—

flat and smooth—

good for at least five skips, I guessed.

I turned it over in my palm,

ran my thumb around

its polished contours.

I imagined its journey—

dislodged from river's bottom,

heaved, propelled, smashed by punishing torrents.

Until somehow, its once-jagged edges now rounded,

it emerged downstream with a new purpose:

defining and shaping the water.

Even the strongest gales

and most raging rapids

have survivors.

From space, the Colorado River

looks like a 1,400 mile scar,

but it also carved the Grand Canyon.