If the world thinks you’re crazy consider it a compliment. The most interesting people who ever lived lived outside the boring and oppressive status quo. Keep going. Let your heart be your guide. The world wants for your happiness and prosperity and the world needs you to be firm and clear and present.

I have made grand, astonishing mistakes; I have traveled downward to the depths of addiction and I have crawled back up to the light of day and kept my heart there even in the face of relentless temptation. I have lived through failure and success; I have been shaken to my very core by the surprises this life has sent me. I have made myself proud of myself by chopping wood, changing the oil, running a chainsaw, trapping mice, raising children. I have tried things I knew would be hard.

I have lain in a hospital bed wondering why I was alive and I have stood beside people who are dying, holding their hand, rubbing their feet, watching them go. And after they died I gathered their feathers, the ones they sent to me when they were no longer embodied. I have been broke and rich, broken and whole. I have cried enough tears to build a pond large enough for everyone I love to swim in. I have smiled and laughed until I thought my head would explode, so great is the joy of this world.

I have loved, I have lost love, I have chased love away.

I have no idea what any of this is about, but I refuse to give up my belief that it’s mysteriously good, that there is a reason we’re here, that our hearts, though prone to hardness, are manufactured in love and so seek love, always.

I believe what Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said: To worship is to devote oneself body and soul to the creative act in order to fulfill the world by hard work and intellectual exploration.

Amen.