In this brand new prose poem I have tried to capture the essence of the challenge we face, and the most powerful solution that is available to each and evey one of us.
The World Needs Storytellers
Today I come before you naked
I have nothing with me but my vulnerability, my love and my stories.
And I am reaching out to you today, because there is this heart in my chest and I don’t know how it got there – I know some will say divine creation, while others will swear genentic mutation…I don’t know
But what I do know is that every day it beats and beats and beats and beats and nearly breaks in two
Because in some moments its beat will be the dancing of my soul as I marvel at the wonders of life –
My daughter’s first words,
The spider’s web at dawn,
The song of the river,
The roar of the engine,
The love of true friendship,
The march of the penguins,
The spark and the flame and the crash of the wave
But maybe, my heart will start to beat in a different way
Like it’s smashing its head on a wall just to manage the pain that I hear in the wails of a father, holding aloft the charred and cindered body of what once was his child.
Once there was a face. Now there’s just blackness.
And my heart begins to beat faster, tracing disasters and scars from heartless abuse and the pursuit of profit that’s raping the truth
My heart beats with a thud, thud, thud that sounds like bullets crashing into the feet of Palestinian footballers, splintering bone and splitting tendon so badly they may never walk again, let alone play football.
And my heart beats, beats, beats…first with a sadness, to see the disgraces of the food that is wasted, the injustice that’s tasted and the hate that’s created
I can’t take it.
But then I hear laughter, and I remember play. I remember super soakers and cookies fresh from the oven and for a moment my heart is dancing again
And now every beat, beat, beat is the sound of willow on leather, of sliding tackle, of strive and grapple and leap.
For the deep pass caught, the moment fought for sack and strike and dunk
It beats the delight of chunks of bread, with a ton of your favourite spread
It beats like the bed, the breath, the sheets, the sweat, the touch, the clutch and thrust and ecstasy of love so well made that no words are necessary, because the joyous tears in our eyes say everything.
And in those beats, my heart and I can journey beyond…beyond Monsanto, Bin laden, Bush, Bankers and bloodshed
And catch a glimpse of something that might be truth.
So far there’s only moments of proof, but every day they gather and grow
You already know…it’s in you…but you daren’t let it out into the light
You’ve been lied to and lied to and lied to, and told it would be your end
If you had the courage to believe in the more beautiful world your heart knows is possible.
That new world is very real. It is arriving – tiny piece by tiny piece.
Yet those who lied to you would seek to kill it, for it is they who profit from the bomb, the bullet and the mortar round
It is they who must ensure our food makes us sick, so they can sell us their cure.
It is they who must ensure you believe in their god…so you do not awaken the divinity within
It is they who must cheat and bribe and steal and murder, so their oil keeps flowing and bonuses keep growing
But if we are to save the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible…it is they we must love and forgive.
We cannot beat them by trying to beat them – we cannot use the tools of the old to give birth to the new.
That is why I reach out to you my brother, my sister.
I ask you to join me, and be a story teller.
The old stories are what wounded us…our new stories will heal and set us free.
If we can leave behind stories like “blacks are not human”, we can leave behind stories like “we must spend billions on weapons for our security”.
If we can leave behind stories like “women belong to their husbands”, we can leave behind stories like “science has all the answers and economic growth is the only true measure of progress”.
Please…be an inspiring story teller.
Each of us has a more beautiful story we long to share, and the moment we begin to serve by sharing it, we begin to create a more beautiful world.
It could be as huge as mediating peace between nations, or as small as baking a cake for a raffle.
Every act of service brings a more beautiful world to life.
So today…what story will you tell?
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