December 29, 2008

Resolved, for 2009: Speak












Years ago, I stumbled across the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. Although I appreciated the sentiment behind some of them, I really wondered if anyone could keep up with this vast array of commitments without becoming severely obsessive.

I never lost my love for resolutions, because they reinforced in my mind the need to measure progress and try something new. My resolutions usually emerged around my birthday (September), not in January. Still, a new year is upon us again and while browsing my local public library, I found a wonderful compilation of the works of Toni Cade Bambara. One piece, titled The Education of a Storyteller, summarizes the necessity of speaking up: "and my mama--not one to traffic in metaphors usually, being a very scientific woman--would add: 'Yeah, speak your speak, 'cause every silence you maintain is liable to become first a lump in your throat, then a lump in your lymphatic system.'"

What I like best about this quote is the focus on speaking that which you have to say; saying your unique message in your own way. There is a lot of talking going on out there. A lot of that talking is the simple repetition or the elaborate repackaging of a second or third party's thoughts or impressions. Wouldn't it be wonderful to live freely enough to "speak your speak", to say the unique thing God has given you to say?

Resolved, for 2009: I will speak my speak.

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