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Following the heartbeat of God…to Ferguson

Dear Friends and Family,

Since attending Eastern Nazarene College, I’ve been given many unique opportunities. Last year, I was selected with a group of students to go on a travel course to Mozambique in southern Africa. Going there was incredible, and that experience uniquely shaped my understanding of missions and mission. In order to continue the mission (of helping others) the Lord has placed on my life, I am happy to announce that I will be participating in the ENC Fusion trip to Ferguson, Missouri.

As you may know, in recent years Ferguson has been a large part of public conversations about race in America. It has been the launching pad for the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as many other significant events and protests. Our trip seeks to focus on education related to racial reconciliation. In order to achieve this, we will be meeting with policy leaders, organizers, pastors, and other key figures so we can be better informed about what has been going on in Ferguson.

Eastern Nazarene College is a Christian college and it is also one of the most diverse Christian colleges in the nation. Naturally, when it comes to conversations about race and racial discrimination, we interact with various narratives daily. The chaplain of the college, and professor of religion and philosophy, Montague Williams, will be leading this trip along with his wife Jennie. The conversations we start in Ferguson will continue when we return home, to foster Christian growth that encourages reconciliation and justice in the fight for equality.

I have always had a passion for justice for the poor and the oppressed. I believe that our Christian mission is to do as Jesus did in his time by subverting the systems in place that bind the people of God (Luke 4:17-21). I feel no greater joy in serving God than when I am helping others, walking in empathy, and being a peacemaker. My prayer for this year is to follow the heartbeat of God in saying, “Lord, wherever your heart breaks, break mine, too.”

I will go on this trip with a team, but I will also need my team of friends and family to support me. Therefore, I humbly ask if you’d be willing to join me in support of this endeavor. The entire cost of my trip is $1,000. It would be an immense blessing if you could contribute in any way possible to help me raise money for this invaluable experience. If you choose to support me, you can mail a check with your donation to:

Rose Percy

23 East Elm Avenue

Quincy, MA 02170

The check can be made payable to “Eastern Nazarene College”, all you need to do is in the “notes” section of the check to put “FUSION: Rose Percy”. Checks made out to ENC will be tax deductible. My deadline for full payment is March 3 and our journey begins on March 4.

You can also donate through my YouCaring account with is easily accessible on your smartphone or computer:

https://www.youcaring.com/rosetoferguson

I’d also love, with your donation, a short note or letter as to what you hope I gain out of this time in Missouri and how you would hope the Holy Spirit works amongst us in our time there. When I return, I plan to have face to face conversations with my supporters to discuss my experience in Ferguson. If you can’t support me in a monetary form, I only ask you support me and my teammates with prayer for safe travels, fruitful conversations, and guidance.

Thank you in advance for joining this journey through your support and generosity!

Rose Percy

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To My Friends in a Different Season

 

So I have been away for awhile. At first, it was hard because I missed a lot of familiar things; our shared laughter and tears. The countless meals we shared, the holidays we spent together. The times we complained together about how we wished our lives were different. The conversations we had about our dreams and hopes. I left all of the everyday things we experienced and was only able to hold on to the memories.

Since then, as time has elapsed, we’ve grown, perhaps not together, but not fully apart. At least not for me. Sometimes when we meet again, it feels like two strangers getting to know each other, I try to pick up where we left off from my somewhat dusty memories, never really able to find the right rhythm again…never able to recreate the feeling of our ordinary moments.

Each year that has passed that I’ve been away, a little bit of the old me has chipped away. Some parts of me only exist in memory now. But every time I return to greet you again, a little bit of the old you has chipped away as well. But I am not disappointed in losing who you were, I am only disappointed that I wasn’t there to see the change. I am only disappointed, at times, because the more of you that becomes “new and improved”, the less of you I know. I suppose I am the same.

So we greet each other in familiar ways, while knowing we are even less familiar with each other every time. We have almost no time for long conversations to catch up on how much has changed, and so we accept huge leaps found in assumptions.

But there is one thing that hasn’t changed about me. And one thing that hasn’t changed about you. Even as years have passed between us and various life changes as happening amongst the ordinary moments we cannot share together…

Even as we will all come to a place where it will no longer be easy to just “pick up where we left off”…

Even when I have a hard time telling sharing the ordinary with you…

We will always have the extraordinary, if we fight for it. We can fight to make the moments that we can share together as special as possible. They may only be highlights and glimpses of time passed, simple and vague impressions of who we are, laced in the memories of who were once were.

They will always be unique collections to exist in the mind of the other. I don’t know what you’ve collected of me, which stories you’ll recap the most when you think of me, which memories will leave the deepest impressions in your mind…. but that version of me that exists for you while I am unable to share the ordinary with you, must be extraordinary.

It’s extraordinary because it means I am still around without being around. Even as you are still around without being around. And as for me…you are still around. Even if we can’t make new memories as often as we used to in the ordinary, you will remain extraordinary, both in life and in memory.

Love,

Your friend Rose.

Unrest

I long for the day:
 
When I can live comfortably under a unified identity, and let go of the high maintaintence of a sustained double consciousness.
 
When I don’t have to explain what my hairstyle is and say no you can’t touch it.
 
When I don’t have to feel the inward searing pain when I read the news.
 
When I can walk into a store and can be greeted with a non-judgemental smile that doesn’t look forced.
 
When I can apply for jobs, get an interview and be considered beyond the necessity of a quota that needs to be filled.
 
When my culture can be intergrated and normal and not an exotic and strange experience that I can only enjoy with people of my own culture.
 
When I don’t have to scan the room for other black people so I can feel like I belong.
 
When I don’t have to share a secret understanding with said people when something happens that offends the core of who we are and threathens to shatter our identiy.
 
When people don’t look surprised by my intelligence.
 
When I don’t have to listen to people explaining why they aren’t racists as if that’s the issue at hand.
 
When people don’t overly express their perception of black people and black culture as beautiful in a way that sounds like a(nother) defense for a non-racist position.
 
When I don’t have to question saftey and security while traveling, especially in airports where my saftey and security should be their priority.
 
When people don’t read statuses expressing these thoughts and say “but we have a black president” as if that somehow elevates position of all black people.
 
When I don’t have to maintain the poised and agreeable posture of compliance to avoid possible and sometimes inevitable discriminaion set on by ignorance.
 
I can’t wait to enter the rest that I’ll find on that day. But until then, I don’t know how my soul can sleep.

To Tall Girls Everywhere (and the people who know them)

Tall girls everywhere:

You are not made by God solely to make use of your height, despite what society tries to force on you. When people groan in disappointment because you don’t play a sport or suggest romantically that you should be a model, you take it with a grain of salt…But what happens when you’ve added too many grains of salt? When is it the right time to respond and correct the ignorance that surround us?

You have to deal with people staring, more often because of your lengthiness than a fascination with your hairstyles or your makeup that you may have spent a lot of time trying to get right. All so someone can call you “statuesque” and say that it’s a suitable compliment.

You never get to be delicate, cute, and adorable. You get regal, muture and stately.

Shorter women take advantage of your height the way they would seek to find comfort in a man and you’re just supposed to pretend it’s not creepy, but it bothers you. It bothers you how much confidence they gain by how much more feminine they feel standing next to you, but you keep silent because these are your friends.

Your voice may be rich and deep and you have to deal with getting passed over for the girls with the higher pitched voices. You get told that you are aggressive and assertive, and you’re not allowed to be shy and insecure.

You find your height exists to rescue everyone, reaching high shelves, blocking the shade, walking in the front. You are always expected to lower yourself and when you’re not sure you do it anyways by hunching over.

People tell you you need a tall guy like lungs need oxygen because they aren’t able to imagine a relationship where height doesn’t matter. You inwardly long for that fantasy, that guy who is conveniently five inches taller than you. Sometimes reality fails to deliver, and you have to deal with seeing shorter girls with taller guys and maybe you even brush it off. But when it seems like the one thing that is supposed to make you feel feminine a taller guy finds no interest in you, you may feel defeated.

You struggle with envying short girls who seem to have it easy. Short girls who are cradled and desired. Girls who define what is feminine. You envy them, while wondering how could God have made you desirable only to walk around modelling clothes for people of average height and size while you have to shop around and settle for extra long jeans at ridiculous prices.

All of this and you’re not supposed to get offended when people ask how tall you are, but you’re supposed to give them a number, so they can measure themselves up against you, invading personal space without asking. Even as they pondering, looking over your head and not at you, they invade the space of time you might have had before they asked; when you were comfortable talking about just about anything else.

They want to know where the height came from, like it’s some sort of thing you can purchase in a store devoted solely to genetics. They want to know which parent donated the trait, as if they were about to give them some kind of award. The men want to deny that it’s your actual height, probably to make themselves feel taller in confidence. Somehow it’s up to you to keep their ego healthy, so in addition, you must not ever wear heels. Something about the idea of you getting taller means that they are getting shorter and somehow that’s not okay. Because somehow society has implanted in them a desire to dominate and your height has warped their understanding of their own masculinity.

Everything about the world seems to tell you that your existence is paradoxical. In order for it to be justifiied, you need to have their prescribed professions, and even then, you’re unrelatable yet unattainable, desirable yet undesirable…

But I’d like to add that you’re beautiful, in a way that is beyond legs, arms and torsos. Beyond what we all expect you to be and beyond what you expect of yourself because you are allowed to be the unexpected. You are allowed to decline being the leader, the initator and the aggressor simply because God designed you to be taller. You are allowed to be delicate and you are allowed to be scared sometimes, because your height has nothing to do with your personality. You are allowed to be  feminine because well, anatomically height does not determine femininity. But you are also allowed to throw those stereotypes out the window.

Be a model, don’t be a model. Play basketball or don’t play. Haters are gonna hate, but they’re not going to put our jean sizes in a place where we can find them, so let their presuppositions about who you are be just that: ideas that float around in their headspace and have NOTHING to do with you.

To tall girls everywhere: Enjoy the experience of being in your own tall and beautiful body, because everyone is looking at you anyways. Give them a reason to look up to you.

Sincerely,

Rose (5’11)

Goals, goals, goals.

This past year’s public goal was to learn how to say no. I don’t know how to reflect on that only to say it’s been a good crutch for avoiding doing things that are uncomfortable, whether or not it’ll be worthwhile. However, it has also been useful for evaluating my limits.

In 2016, I want to be a better artist. Whether it’s music, poetry, prose…and even illustration, I want to explore the full range of artistic expressions God gave me UNAPOLOGETICALLY.

In recent years for whatever reason, I’ve been trying to be humble and modest with my gifts, trying to keep people’s self-esteem and butt-hurtness in check. While it’s tiring to have to deal with people’s pitiness, I can’t try to compensate for that with hiding and timidity. That’s not what God created me for. I was put on this earth to share my gifts…inspite of how offended people might be about what I am able to do.

I am an ARTIST. I sing, I write songs, and I learn instruments. I write poetry and blogs. I used to be a dedicated visual artist and I haven’t pursued that in awhile. So I’m reclaiming my artistry and spreading my artistic wings and allowing myself to be appreciated, critiqued, hated, loved, and coveted. I want my art to reflec the full range of my personality so that people are free to respond with the full range of theirs.

I am always afraid that people will be intimidated by me, but people are intimidated by me without me saying anything anyways so I guess we can throw that stupid fear out the window because it’s highly unneeccessary.

Don’t be an intellectual whore.

I read a really great book last semester about art and worship, and one of the chapters was titled “Don’t be an artistic whore”. Well, this phrase is going to be modified for this post.

Today, I erupted into this never ending stream of tears in a seemingly uneventful moment. It was the last day of classes, and I have had quite a challenging semester. My credit and workload was overwhelming, often it meant that I didn’t have a life. I had to say no to a lot of things to focus on coursework. Sometimes I was okay, most of the time I was in a maintained state of agony. Still, there were pockets of joy here and there. I got to connect and make friendships deeper. I found kindred spirits.

I also found that I really love history. Not so much the facts and names (because Lord only knows I’ll never remember dates and names), but the concepts and overarching problems of the human race. We are constantly tripping over our feet in an attempt to find some kind of process that may or may not exist. I have my theories about where exactly it is, but that’s a post for another day.

In the last day of my history class, the professor asked, “What does the world look like to you?”

I sat quietly and listened while people voiced some serious problems. Racism, social media, trends, apathy, terrorism…..

My turn came and I said something along the lines of this:

“It’s unfair that in a world where we (in the US) can think about a future, a house, security, getting the latest technology, someone else can wake up and be primarily concerned about having no shoes, no clean water and no opportunity for any of those things. There is a serious problem of systematic oppression in the world. What I see is that youth are satisfied with social media activism and awareness. What we need are young people that are going to get educated and get jobs in government, become policy makers and informed voters.”

It took a lot out of me. Despite my occasional spoken word, I fail when it comes to public speaking of any kind, however, when something needs to be said I don’t object to saying it.

Why did I start to cry? Quite honestly, because I realized what position my semester put me in. I was learning a lot, and I had to face the responsibility of what I knew. This has happened to me several times in my life, but I am finally beginning to understand what is so deeply unsettled in my soul.

The Word says to love the Lord your God will all your heart, mind and soul. I am certainly a “mind” person. I can live in there for quite some time before I realize anything else is going on. I have to force myself to be alert and available to the present. I haven’t been that way, and today for some reason, I was.

The problem with being a “mind” person, is not that the heart isn’t working. It’s that it gets bottled up and without the occasional release, emotions run rampant. They needed to be felt.

Today I felt the weight of an intellectual shame and a need to repent for being someone who can know and talk about what systematic oppression is. To be a person who knows, and doesn’t do anything to stop it.

Today I was dissatisfied with the idea that “one day, I’ll help other people”.

Today, I prayed that I would never be a consumer of knowledge without action, even if it means that tomorrow, I’m still a college student more stressed about finals than anything else, I want to keep my heart’s contribution to my personhood alive.

That’s all for today. Don’t be an intellectual whore, folks.

Heavier Things.

As a guitar player, singer and songwriter, I admire the work of John Mayer.

I try not to keep his songs in constant rotation because while I like his music, a lot of it is challenging to learn and that makes me sad. His music can sometimes alter my mood in not so pleasant ways. I’m aware of the dangers of the subconscious influence of his lyrics on my life.

One album in particular called “Heavier Things”, contains this song called “New Deep”.

Is there a God? Why is he waiting? Don’t you think it’s odd when he knows my address? Don’t it remind you just how feeble we are?

Stop trying to figure it out/Deep will only bring you down….. I’m probably never gonna to find the perfect rhyme for heavier things

Listening to this song helped me realize how comfortable I have been lately with not feeling, not digging deeper into relationship with God and people.

There is danger in being deep and tackling the heavier things in life. I am recognizing that God hasn’t put people in my life for 10 minute conversations. There are people I need to cry with, mourn with, and work with. I can’t do those things in my room sifting through flash cards. (Granted, I have 2 exams this week so I need to sift for now.)

God has to give heavier things. I have to feel. This is important, messy work.

(This post is short because my laptop is broken, I’m writing it on my phone, and I’m tired. Goodnight.)

You don’t exist.

What do you think it feels like to not exist?

1. You can’t, because you’d have to exist to have feelings.
2. Man, it sucks.

Well, I know people who have said that people treat them like they don’t exist. I know at times, I’ve felt that way and I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve felt or been made to feel that way.

Sometimes it’s not intentional. People sometimes can be so self-absorbed (I know, because I am often the same)–self-absorbed and self focused, and not paying attention to you, and sometimes it’s not your fault. Sometimes you are the last thing on their overcrowded mind. In other words, we didn’t mean to not see that you needed help, were in pain, or just needed someone to say hello to you.

I think sometimes it’s intentional. Sometimes people feel it’s too uncomfortable to approach you, smile at you and say hello. Sometimes you’re so different that they don’t know how you’ll react so they avoid you to protect themselves. That’s intentional and not malicious.

But I suppose there is intentional and malicious. I have a friend who in high school, a certain boy was a jerk to the whole class. The whole class began to intentionally ignore the boy, until he couldn’t handle it anymore.

What’s worse than being told every terrible name in the book? Being beaten? Picked on?

Being made to feel that you aren’t even worthy of the attention it takes to do these things.

Think of someone you ignore and ask yourself why you do it. I can think of a few. I can think of someone I ignore because I’m too self-absorbed, someone I ignore because it’s too uncomfortable to speak to them, and someone I ignore because I find them unpleasant.

Well, I can tell you one thing. I feel terrible, that I am doing nothing to better these people’s lives, to make them smile. I am missing out on the opportunity not just to be Christ to them, but for them to be Christ to me.I may be missing out on friendships that could help me grow for the next few years, or even conversations that might inspire another blog post.

I think about the way the countries where Islam is prevalent, how the poor are not ignored. They are given alms, because no one under their law is to live in poverty. In America, poverty hangs over our heads like a fringe, framing the face of our nation.

I think about how one of my friends depends on his ears, because he can’t see, saying hello is the only way he knows your around. How he needs help to get food, how his cheerful presence has enriched my life.

I think about how I once fell off a bike on a sidewalk next to my house, and a man walked right by me without saying anything at all.

I think so much that I need to stop and just be radically hospitable like the woman who preached during my school’s chapel service said. I think about Annais saying “Brother Saul” to the same man who murdered Christians, who were his friends. He laid hands to heal the eyes of the man who turned the lights off for many of them.

I think about the times when I feel most unsafe, on the streets, passing by people I don’t know. I quietly want to fade into myself and try to pass by without feeling the weight of their stares: so I don’t stare at them. I figure, if I don’t stare, then you don’t stare and everyone lives (I’m quite dramatic. I think it has to do with growing up in Brooklyn and never playing outside.)

I think about the parable of the Good Samaritan, how someone from a tribe of people who were ignored helped someone who was ignored on the side of the road.

I think about how I can sometimes ignore God, and what He calls me to do. I do it all the time. How does God feel when we ignore Him? (Especially considering that as omnipresent He can’t ignore us?) Well, if it weren’t for grace…

I could sit here and list all the things I think about, but I would miss the biggest one if I forget Christ.

I think about Christ, and how He took notice of me. I think about the moment when He turned His back….to have it’s flesh opened up by whips. I think about the moment when He closed His eyes, and thought of me, with His arms wide, graciously remembering me, telling me not only that I exist, but that I am loved and fully realized in His love.

How could I not want anyone to know that? About myself, or to tell someone know that about themselves? We are most radically changed to create the most radical change.

This is a call that cannot be ignored, it exists.

Awkward with Grace.

It occurs to me frequently how daunted I feel when faced when social interaction. I’ve conditioned myself to sometimes be able to look as if I feel quite the opposite. The internet has so many theories about the many social paradoxes my personality is riddled with, such as the extroverted introvert theory, and ambivert theory. (I prefer the former.)

I can, when need be, be the person who’s leading the pack, the one who’s telling all the jokes, the one who’s opinion seems to dominate the conversation. Then I have my moments of following, laughing at jokes and telling almost none, and offering no opinion on anything. Whatever the case may be, I often feel like even I can’t recognize who the real Rose is sometimes. Maybe she’s the one who posted funny Instragram videos…but is she also the one who deleted Instagram and wants nothing to do with it (anymore)?

I wonder, in what way God intends to use my social awkwardness to His benefit. I am thankful, He’s given me friends who can embrace my awkwardness, as I embrace theirs.

God has a way of using my words, and His words, to form poetry, and to speak life into people…then, I have my moments of contradiction, where it seems I can’t get myself to say anything that pleases the Lord, let alone those around me.

Though I think I’m pretty awkward I also think Jesus had His awkward moments, like when He sat down* with a table full of pharisees, and basically told them “Your kind make me sick and no, you’re not all as holy as you think. Uh, can someone pass the wine?” He goes off on this tangent, and tells them how wicked they are, and He stays and DINES with them…how awkward. However, Jesus didn’t live a life of contradiction, though His actions were sometimes a bit weird…everything He said and did were in line with the precepts and guidelines He was laying out. The only thing awkward is us, being fitted for our new purposes, like new wineskins. We’re in desperate need of stretching.

I am in despite need of stretching.

Some part of me sees the grace in His actions, His ability to show love and hate in one instance.If my life is meant to mirror Jesus, perhaps, I ought to start embracing whatever it is that seems to make some people comfortable and some uncomfortable around me.

When I think of stretching, I am reminded by my journey to being the 5’11″** giant-non-model-non-basketball-player-height-waster you see today. I started getting pretty tall around 4th grade, and as I grew, it was like my body didn’t know what to do with the extra inches. I was always bumping into things, falling, and dropping things. I was clumsy for a long time***. I would wake up at night with these crazy leg cramps, that felt like death and made me cry. I would get clothes for Christmas that didn’t fit by April.

We might say we despise stretching, growing, learning, discipline, but this is what my bible tells me:

1. Only a fool despises instruction (Prov. 1:2)
2. Growing in God’s truth is to your benefit (Psalm 1)
3. Discipline is a Father’s act of love (Heb 12:3-13)
4. People will treat you differently (1 Peter 4:12-14, John 15:19)
5. We’re not of this world (1 John 2:15-17)
6. We’re a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9,
7. We’re not meant to conform (Rom. 12:2)
8. We’re meant to draw attention to the light of Christ within us (Eph. 5:7-14)
9. If we’re not different, something’s wrong (2 Cor. 5:17, Ps. 51:10-12, Galations 5:19-26)
10. If you are different, there’s no use in hiding it (1 Cor. 12:12-25)(Matt. 26:30-36,69-75)

Surely, growing pains are awkward, along with the rest of puberty. But it all serves a purpose in the end, to prepare you for adulthood. A moment when we have fully realized ourselves, within our earthly bodies. I assume that spiritually, we’re in a state of striving towards a realized righteousness, which only comes a commitment to walk with Christ; to greet the awkward moments that spiritual testing will serve you. Those moments, are far more daunting than the social conundrums that lead me to write this post in the first place. The social conundrums serve as a platform for friendships. They offer relationships where I can shine the light of Christ, and just be whatever version of myself is needed in that moment.

I look back on my awkward blunders, far too frequently, both socially and spiritually. But as I am growing, walking and learning with Christ, I am consistently dumbfounded by His ability to love me yesterday.

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*some might say “reclined at table”…Some being me, because English Standard Version. For the full story, see Luke 11:37-54
** and 1/4″ but no one needs to know that…
*** Some might say I still am…

The Frustration of Unfinished Works

The problem of my education (well, one of them) has always stemmed from the friction between my contentment to linger on my work, and the people and things that tell me to hurry up.  There are times, when if something truly matters, I can dwell in it for quite sometime. I don’t mind not finishing.

The time constraints and fixed prompts of life seem to get in the way of my process. I am swimming in a pool of ideas that I may never fish out. And, to be honest, I am partly okay with that. The response to the question “What are you thinking about? ” is often “Everything.” The problem is, at times I don’t want anyone to know what I am thinking until I have fully come to terms with it myself.

Perhaps it’s the introvert’s prerogative. Our ideas and thoughts keep us company in a way people cannot. Sure, I can talk to someone and voice them, and they can certainly voice there’s. But ultimately, when they are removed, only I and my ideas (and perhaps a few new residents from their brains) remain with me.

I’ve been working on this one song for 5 years, and there are a whole host of poems left unfinished in this Evernote folder called “Poetry: Works In Progress”. Finishing is hardly ever the purpose of writing for me. But also, as an introvert, I would shudder to share something unfinished.

Friends have asked to see what I’m working on. I might not show you, and if I do, I might be reluctant the whole way through. Those I do share unfinished works with….well, it’s probably only because I have a deadline on it and it’s close to done. Maybe I just need help revising a finished product. I consider a glimpse into my mind to be a gift not to be taken lightly. I know that sounds pompous, and it very well may be. But what I mean to say is handing over something that is fragile into another person’s hands to hold is scary. If I don’t want to show you, it has very little to do with hate. (But if you keep asking….I can’t guarantee that that won’t change.)

In elementary school, I would love and hate art class. I liked art, and was good at it (if that’s even a conceivable thing), according to the lady who, as an art teacher, hovered over me, and always, in the middle of working, found away to do the very thing I dreaded. She would take something I was working on and lift it up so all the class could see. Then, the result would be even more horrific. Suddenly, my work was duplicated, suddenly I was the ideal, and suddenly everyone was looking over my shoulder.

Please, stop.

That’s what I wished I said. Instead, I stayed silently frustrated. It’s a dilemma, in many ways, I am still escaping.

God has revealed to me that sometimes it’s okay to let other people see my unfinished products. (However, I would still ask, out of respect for me, that no one invites themselves into a glance. Permission or invitation please, before you step into my house.)

I always wanted more time to work in elementary school. The pieces I received good grades on never seemed complete to me. In writing, I am not on the same schedule as the rest of the world seems to be.

Please understand that certain pieces seem to flood out of my brain while others proceed cautiously. I am always much more sensitive about the latter.

This song that is taking 5 years, will probably be the song I will cringe at most when people say anything about it. For as long as I labor on it, I feel am anything other than a 5 year reflection seems inadequate. However, I can’t demand that kind of time from anyone. (What if it takes a lifetime?)

I wish I had more time to say what I want to say here. But I am learning to be content in sharing the unfinished with you. It’s not simple to say, but I don’t think I can wait 5 years to say this, and I mean this most sincerely:

Be content with my noncompliance, and stop looking over my shoulder. It’s annoying.