I have been collecting poetry this year. Mostly from friends who sent a line in a letter, or a book shared via mail. The gift of poetry has sustained me and maintained my sanity during one of the hardest years I have ever experienced. Honestly, 2013 has been one of the most mentally challenging ones yet. It is the poems that have decided to stay in my heart that have gotten me through. A lot like music has done for me in the past, it was poetry that left its lines lingering in the loneliest of nights. Recently, I was in Nashville, TN and a few friends of mine shared poems they had memorized with me. It was a cathartic, almost holy experience that left me craving this ability to recite aloud. I spent the next week intent to commit the lines of a chosen one to my mind. It was a lot harder than I thought. And yet I awoke every morning with a dreamlike chant of these words in my spirit. When it came time for me to leave, I attempted to recite this poem to my friend and was so nervous I stumbled, kept repeating, apologizing awkwardly and completely blanked. His response was, “That was brave and I will treasure this one.” If only that was my response to all life’s shortcomings. I was so humbled by this practice and his response that I am committing to memorize a poem a week for the next year. I will share this poem on my blog every Monday and by Sunday of that week will have recited it to at least one other person, aloud and vulnerable. I am excited about the beauty this will reveal.