We have abused all of the great words. I love words. Words like finial and newell post or picayune or asinine are so perfect and exact. And the great words, words like peace, faith, courage and love are so vaulting and once trusting now plaintive in their effort to ask us to aspire to something great. Their meanings are not declarations but interrogatives. In the dictionary they ask: “what could I mean in your world?”
No soldier is more courageous than when she lays down her gun or never picks it up or never considers the gun at all. War and conflict are actually confounding of courage. It is courageous to aspire to grace. Not the receiving of it, because you have it. You don’t deserve it but that’s the way of grace as my Sundays on the couch self understands it. Not the receiving of grace but the practicing - maybe questing, maybe it’s a journey? Maybe only process is courageous. Love is courageous - not harts and ponies love - graceful love. I am also clear that courage is terrestrial, even mundane, certainly of the earth and more than self.
I see courage in art and expression.
Just 'found' her (like Columbus 'found' America) last night which is why this post. In her first song (@ 0:16) in this TED “talk” she stands plainly in her humanity. This video is from 2009 and I am hoping, selfishly, for myself, that she is this person for always. The decisions she makes are jarring and beautiful. What would I do with my TED Talk? Could I give this well, be this present?
(If you have never listened to Valerie June, please do not make this video your introduction to this exceptional artist. Maybe try this one first.)In this video, she makes a plain, actually, a naked offer - “I’ll be somebody to love.” And she does so Good Morning America - maybe the most antithetical stage she could find. Watching her through the course of the song, it wasn’t until I got to the end that I realized I was breathing and realized that I wasn’t breathing before. Could I move from plastic to courageous like she did? I listen to Valerie June a lot - nearly every day because she informs me. Can I give like that?