These feet have traveled far…

I had my reasons for leaving
I swear I did
And although meeting you was
the best
in the world…

You would never understand
That I could not stay
I had never intended to stay
And that would not change
Not even for you





“If you were a window
and I was the rain,
I’d pour myself out
to wash off the pain
I’d fall like a tear
so your light could shine through,
then I’d just fade into you…”

Fade Into You – Clare Bown & Sam Palladio




One rainy day in London, taken from the top of a double decker bus.


Journey of a Single Step



Travel? All I need is a notebook, a guitar and a pocketful of soap.

Sometimes the universe will give you a helping hand in realizing you deepest passions or desires. For me, it was when I studied abroad in Brazil. Living in what was then an ‘alien country’ was necessary in providing the conditions for me to finally turn to music without shame. You see, despite all the travel adventures I had while I was there, between those bright moments and epic photos, I was deeply lonely. I had to face a kind of alone-ness that only my guitar could help me navigate through. What I didn’t anticipate in using music as my medicine were the perfect strangers and new friends who would affirm me in my gift. I needed that extra push. But I took that first step.

I want to encourage you to take a tiny leap of faith in going after what you’d only dream about doing this year. Wanna publish a book? Start writing short stories or poems. Start small: a sentence. Or start big: an entire book in one go. Share them with friends. Wanna dance? Maybe take a class, if you can. Or maybe start following those ‘how-to’ dance videos on YouTube. Wanna run a marathon? Start by running up and down your block. Wanna travel? Take a breath and book that flight. Or, find alternative ways to make it happen if you don’t have the money for luxury.

There are so many ways to make it happen. So many ways. Start small. Start big. Set those goals. And then work practically toward them.

You get the point. Over time, the jar will get full with tiny droplets of water. Start where you are, and do what you can with what you have. Soon enough you’ll find yourself free falling into something you couldn’t even imagine when you began. This is my wish for you in the new year.

The quote that made 2015 for me:

I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told. [Habakkuk 1:5]


Melancholy Is A Friend of Mine

I’ve been down in the dumps lately. I suppose law school will do that to you? But deeper than that, I’ve been having meltdowns so frequently that it has truly made me consider whether I should seek help to assess what is wrong with the chemicals in my brain. There is something wrong with me, and I’ve felt crazy and non-functional.

I confided this in a close friend, whose response was so unearthly encouraging and earnest. He told me that I was only just discovering what my brain was all about (“heck, you’re 23! You’re still learning about yourself”), and that it was a process that would train me to master all that I could accomplish. Most importantly, he told me that I was not crazy; I just have to work with what I have and, with patience, not let my emotions overcome me.

I know there are those who truly cannot get by without the help of medication. The struggle with mental illness is a rough one and we all deal with it differently. Most of us go through life undiagnosed, or unwilling to be diagnosed because of what it would mean. Family and friends would have to get involved. The money. The stereotype. The idea of having to go on medication.

Personally, it’s not that I want to suffer quietly. I would simply prefer to get by using natural means. And it’s turning out that finding the “natural way” of dealing with this is just as difficult as finding the right cocktail of drugs. I’m okay with that.

What is really helping me is the thought that there is someone out there who genuinely believes that I’m gonna be okay. What gets me is the thought of what it would mean to believe in myself the way that someone else does, to see myself the way someone else does, and walk in the confidence of that. I’m sorta like, wow, someone believes in me that much. I want to believe like that.

This song I wrote is my anthem right now in dealing with this. I want to believe that I’ll be okay. And if you’re dealing with something similar, I want you to know that I think you’ll be okay too. 🙂



Melancholy is a friend of mine, I decide
Ain’t it better to face the light
and learn to fly?
I know a sadness that won’t go away
I hope it eases with time
For all the echoing insanity
it’s like I’m losing my mind

I simply want to believe
in the things you say
I only want to believe
in me like you do
You have this clear reckoning
that I could be more than what I see
I only want to believe
I only want to believe

Things will get better in time
It will get better with time
No, I’m not losing my mind
It will get better in time
These dark emotions, I won’t let dictate
I swear I’ll learn to fly
Won’t let these chemicals decide my fate
I’ll use them when I fly

I simply want to believe
in the things you say
I only want to believe
in me like you do
You have this clear reckoning
that I could be more than what I see
I only want to believe
I only want to believe

Things will get better in time
It will get better in time
And then we’ll learn to fly

I Feel

You make me feel

sunshine on my finger tips
stardust on my toenails
lightning in my veins
cool rain on my skin

You make me feel

happy in my insides
excited in every nerve
expectant in my shoulders

You. Make. Me. Feel.

I feel
And feel
And the inner me
Every spark
of electricity
when you look at me
the flower
that blossoms within me
the fire
that threatens to consume me
to just as quickly
burn out

And then what?

I’ll feel


My Insides Feel Like Mush

My insides feel like mush

But I want to believe in the brighter thing

The holier thing

The prayer of your smile
the mantra in your eyes
as it crinkles and sparkles
in absolute, unearthly belief
in me

I kneel before the knowledge
that you root for me, believe in me

And I yearn
that one day
I can believe in me too

My insides feel like mush
From terror, from disappointment,
from hope

My insides feel like mush


We Are Brothers

The past thirty one days have been rife with war, upheaval and terror in all shapes and forms in nations across the world. Keeping up with the news almost always leaves me with a heavy heart, making me wonder what the point of anything is. “Bad people” seem to have the power. And apathetic people seem to have more power because they can do something, anything, and they don’t.

In light of it all, I did not start a movement (perhaps I shall?). Rather, I mourned and wrote a song. Traveling in the past year and connecting with soul brothers and sisters from all over the world, has somehow made disasters in ‘far-off’ places hit me more closely. You see, making the emotional connections that I have, those places don’t seem so far away anymore…so when something terrible happens, it hurts.

That empathy is a wonderful thing. We need more travelers in the world willing to step outside the hotel/resort space and truly get to know the place through the eyes of a local. It creates a bond that doesn’t go away. It makes us unable to switch the channel to some heinous reality show. It makes us do something other than close our eyes to suffering.

Here are the lyrics I wrote.


Continue reading

If I Could

sorrow 1

I’ve been reading The Active Side of Infinity by Carlos Castaneda. A striking teaching of the book is this idea that the most intense and memorable moments of our lives are those that are impersonal, yet personal. It’s where you aren’t the center of the story, yet the lesson of the moment lasts forever.

It’s sort of like how I’ve written lots of songs about myself, yet I don’t always go back to them or even share them because they’re written like a kneejerk reaction to life events. And like such a reaction, the feeling doesn’t last so the song doesn’t last either. But, there are others that I’ve written, that aren’t quite about me, that will always stay with me as very special in my heart.

One particular song is called If I Could, which was written as a response to the death of someone in my community, though I didn’t know him at all. His passing was sudden and brought a lot of questions. More than his death, it was also how he died. After all, it never crossed our minds that people in close-knit Christian communities die of suicide. Where did we go wrong? It was emotionally triggering for many of my friends, some of whom didn’t know him very well either, but it stirred up deep issues for them.

What stays with me from all of it is how the whole community was affected by the death of one person who was relatively in the background but always present.

People notice the quiet, reserved people. And maybe they don’t realize they noticed them until something happens to that quiet person. But it shows me just how important they are, as important as the loud, outgoing, noticeable ones.

I didn’t know Isaac, but I think about him every day. I think about how his light went out before the rest of the world could see it. I think about how anyone, regardless of faith background or level of spiritual involvement, could be suffering on the inside but not showing it. I think about what we could have done had we known he was suffering. I think about this almost every day.

So this song stays with me. It’s special. I don’t have an answer, but this song is my eternal answer.


“When you decided to leave first,

We were left with frozen embers…

What do we do with these frozen embers?”