Pen Peace

Power of the Pen. That’s what it was called when I was elementary, middle school. It’s what the artistic kids did. They wrote poems. With verses and rhymes and words I never tried to write but knew from greedily reading books.

That was before I decided to be a writer. That was when I didn’t believe in myself. I mean, I believed in myself to finish my homework and get up at 6:20 am and never skip swimming practice. But I strongly disbelieved that I am artistic. It wasn’t natural. Nothing was natural. Except following the rules, making others think well of me, hiding my badness.

Power of the pen

And I’m here with my wooden Hiram College Alpha Society pen (obtained by following the rules) writing in my friend-made journal. I drew an identifiable mermaid and wrote my name across two pages and recorded how to become a peaceful person. This pen is POWER, I think, and it takes me back.

Those artistic kids knew it in seventh grade. They knew they were created to create.

I know it now. But the same thing stops me from creating. I live conflict. There’s no peace in my nature. I thrive on the conflict and I forget my purpose, my peace. I chase myself and fall. So that record of what it means to be peaceful is the point. Without it, I’m chasing others’ thoughts of me.

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Peace

Humility.

Self-control.

Steadfastness.

Patience.

Grace.

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When I choose peace, I face my ugliness. I give up control. I strive for pure motive. I wait. I look to forgiveness from the all-time-forgiver who gives me more and more and more.

And I can create. I claim that graceful (not the type of movement but the unconditional kindness) power.

I haven’t written for months because I’ve been choosing miserable conflict. In this small moment I choose humility and self-control. Peace. Creation. I hope for more.

Joy in Cleveland: An Intro

I moved to Cleveland in August 2013. This weekend I realized that I’m falling dramatically in love with it. The people, the shops, the food, the architecture, the city life.

Learning Joy

During my time in India earlier this year, I learned to recognize the small gifts available to me every day – all fine-tuned to me (see One Thousand Gifts by  Ann Voskamp). When I notice these tiny presents, I’m overfilled with joy. Joy that someone knows me and is generous enough to design and offer me such beauty. Joy that I’m able to experience perfect love right here.

In a foreign culture, it’s easy to pick out the gifts. You’re incessantly searching for something familiar you can cling to. When you find it, you’re relieved and grateful, and already looking for more.

The Difficulties of Home

But in a city like Cleveland – often ridiculed and close to my Northeast Ohio home – I’m not always looking for joy. I have more that what I need: a cute apartment, fellowship, and some money to spend on activities. Thanks to the city’s bad rap, I’m just looking for ways to defend living here (if only to make myself feel better about it).

The beauty is here, though. And there’s something designed to exactly fit my unique desires, to perfectly match your specific personality.

CLE + Joy

And so. This week, I  start to document the joys of Cleveland. These are the things designed for me. There are many gifts ready to be enjoyed, created to every individual’s preferences, intricacies and eccentricities. And I’m excited to find the ones made for me.

Come back throughout the week for the beauty-filled places, food, scenes, images, people and culture of CLE that fill my hunger for love.

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