voice between my ribs

I had an idea one afternoon on a long drive.

the idea came from listening to music and thinking about how deep it reached into my heart to heal the places where it had fallen. music reaches because lyrics reach because words reach; deep. words can be confessions--

boasting of weakness.

When we boast in our weaknesses we create space for his strength to fill, and tell the person next to us that they're not the only one feeling their way through the dark. The isolation is annihilated. we are no longer alone.

my prayer and hope was to be a darkness/isolation annihilator, so i zipped up my hazmat. i was convicted by the voice between my ribs. i felt like there was a need for a community where we can celebrate our strength in him-- a place to declare that we are louder than the voices inside of our heads.

i needed that community.

that idea grew (a lot) and i collaborated (a lot) with my sister (the co-founder) and some amazing artists and word-benders to create a project called BURNING YOUTH. we just launched, and i would be honored if you guys checked it out. like, beyond honored.

how are you this week? what kind of cereal have you been eating lately??

x O
photos; whiteface mountain, ny

i'm in the closet too

i remember playing hide and seek when i was little at a friends house during weekly bible study. all the adults would be downstairs, and all of us would be upstairs, usually doing things we probably shouldn't have. but sometimes we would be good kids and play hide and seek, pressing ourselves frantically into towel closets and too-small-for-two-people cabinets and stuff while one of the elders of us counted too fast.

when you're a kid, hide and seek is like, this really serious thing. it's not even a game; your palms are sweating and you're breathing really hard and your ear is pressed up against the door-- and then you're holding your breath because you can hear footsteps on the other side, on the floorboards right there.

he's right there. and you're sweating.
and you're in battle mode.

i mean, am i right?

but it was always easier when you'd dragged your best friend into the closet with you. and so instead of you being sweaty and trying to hold your breath in a closet by yourself, you were doing it with someone else. sweaty hands finding and squeezing each other. whispers of breathless conversation. it was still just as intense, but you were both there and it somehow made it better than you being in the closet by yourself, and her being in some other closet somewhere down the hall.

i guess its that, i don't need you to tell me its ok-- i don't want you to. because sometimes its not. sometimes there are things going on in and around me that are not ok, and i don't want to give it the satisfaction of being validated as alright; it's not.

but sometimes the thing that scares me is that i feel like i'm the only one in this closet. that i'm the only one breathing hard in the dark, with palms sweating and an aggressive heart rattling my rib cage. it's not that i need to hear you tell me its ok, it's that i just want to feel your sweaty hand take mine and hear your voice tell me

"i'm in here too."

you're not in the dark by yourself. we're here together.

photos; old faithful, yellowstone

punk sunset

my bible flipped open to job 38 a few days ago, the part where God finally speaks, and asks job some questions. It struck me as I was reading that we have a Papa who lets us ramble on for 38 chapters out of a 42 chapter book. even when we don't know what we're talking about, even when we're ticked, and confused and covered in ash. he's listening; he's there. he cries with us. he shakes his fists at the sky with us.

but then he speaks.

my heart is still back in the messy purples and pinks that was this sunset. i almost typo'd pink with punk. punk sunset. ok i'll stop. 

we're back at our little house tucked in the valley, and it's beautiful and it's summer and i have missed the faces and feelings that is here. but the road is home too, and my gypsy heart already misses the rush, and the no responsibilities to desk work [because wifi is usually not a thing].

AND I HAVE MISSED YOU GUYS. TELL ME WHAT I MISSED. hows life? how's your glorious summer?


an open letter to the darkness fighters

I don't usually write things to explain a thing — I want this to speak for itself and be open ended, but I want to say I wrote this one with some friends in mind who I've known over the years who have fought thoughts that tell them life isn't worth it or they aren't. I personally haven't experienced everything I wrote about here, but my heart rivers out to those who have. This one is for them, but its for me and you too, because regardless of what your warring with up in the head, it's all the same battleground. Different faces, different demons, same warzones. We are warheads together, you and I. We are all, in some way, fighting invaders and voices that lie through their teeth. Its negativity that we're after here—darkness. Whether it's thinking your life isn't worth living, or obsessing over numbers on a scale, or talking yourself down until you can hardly hold yourself up, or whether it's something else, we're going to kick this thing. We're going to win. 

I read this in first Corinthians the other day and I don't think I could put it much better: be confident of one thing: no testing will come your way which has not been experienced by other human beings. [Chapter ten verse twelve]

We're in this thing together, alright? got your back. This one's for the darkness fighters. 


I won't talk because I want to listen and I can't do both at once. I want to listen even if you have nothing to say.

I'll sit on the floor beside you and we can watch the writing on the wall together. I'll listen while you tell me that you've heard it all before but then I'll tell you something you've never have heard before.

I know that after a while this world becomes a muted place; mouths move but nothing comes out. Reaching lungs find thin air on shelves they can barely reach. Nothing is ok. I'm sorry we told you that it was, I'm sorry we made you feel like you were insane, because we're all over here eating and regurgitating and eating our darkness but it's

not and

I'm sorry about all of that.

The red lines under your sleeves, the teeth marks on the backs of your hands, the mines you keep stepping on behind your forehead, the weapons,

It's not ok. I'm not going to tell you that it is. I'm just going to take your palms in mine and lift them high and read them aloud so you can know that your skin has a message for your head:


Those monsters living at the ends of your arms were made for life, not death, were made with claws to rip apart the dark and spill the contents of the thoughts that aren't ours out across the floor. They were made to make not take, because reading in between those lines all I see is


Death is for the dead and we were one of them once but now we've broken surface into something bigger. I'm not telling you to run from death I'm telling you that you already died, and so did I and maybe we should start using our fingers to pull the trigger on the ghosts inside that can't

scream as loud
as we can.

We scream louder but we remain silent in the presence of the apparitions that spray paint our inadequacies on the walls of our heads—

speak out loud to that empty room. yell.

I still have those threads you wove together and gave me, I still have them tucked in between the pages of my Bible. I still see you in the crowds with your elbow joints fighting to be seen through your skin, I still see you in the mirror. I wish I could tell you how much you are a meteorite in this night but my mouth is just moving and no words are coming out.

No I'll just keep reading those palms until you can read them yourself; until you can make out the words.


Every single line and every single beat and every single drop of blood and water and light that makes you up has the demons running for cover, the earth trembling under your feet. You are so much more than the bones you can see in the mirror. More than the knives and the sleepless nights and the scratches on your skin. more than the food you wouldn't let yourself eat. More than the judge that you try to be, and more than the punishments you pass on yourself. more than the sentences. You are not any of this. You are not the darkness, you

you are the beginning of the end of that darkness.

You are the dawn. You are the light. You and the mess you made and the tired brain inside your head are the northern lights.

So I won't talk. I won't tell you the things you've already heard.

I'll just give you back your hands and let them tell you a different story.