Manifesto in progress

Seek justice.
Love mercy.
Walk humbly with God.

Speak truth but always alongside grace.
Don’t think too highly of yourself,
and don’t think too little of yourself —
claim your status as a beautiful mess.

Be uncomfortable — that’s how you grow.
That’s how you stay grounded.

Sing a lot.
Read a lot.
Paint a lot,
and be messy.

Don’t mind what others think of you.
Another’s greatness does not diminish you,
and your greatness does not diminish others.

Flee from expectations.
Beware the proud crowd.

Empty yourself.
Take time to be filled up,
and empty yourself again.

Struggle with your opinions.
Don’t give up.

Take your time — you don’t have to be fast.
Be thoughtful, and leave time for wonder.
Receive praise.
Be kind.
Share your umbrella.

Don’t forget about the tools you carry with you.
Use them.

Travel and get our of your little world.
Always seek perspective.

Remember provision.
Remember grace.
Remember who you are,
who you’ve been,
and who you want to be.
Remember who you don’t want to be.

Don’t bind yourself up–
regularly unbind what needs to be unbound.

Give thanks every morning
and every night
and the moments in between.

Have long conversations over café con leche.
Seek people who will love you
and push you beyond yourself–
                    people who will see what you can’t see.

Love God well and with passion.
Don’t worry so much.

Speak out against injustice.
Be unpopular.
Make people uncomfortable.
Be scandalous.


manifesto in progress

Where I Am From

From an exercise based on George Ella Lyon’s poem, Where I Am From. This is my version.

Where I Am From

I am from escoba, mapo y Lestoil. I am from Villa Carolina, busy streets, and el palo de aguacate.
I am from Barbies & Nintendo behind barred windows.

I am from Abuela Carmen & Abuelo Felipe, Abuela Amarilys & Titi Nitty. I am from Mami & Papi (without Stephanie yet- though she was already in my heart).
I am from Rocky the dog who didn’t let me play with him, and Xuxa, the childhood idol.

I am from the ‘ay bendito,’ ‘bendición,’ & ‘Dios te bendiga;’ ‘que bochinche’ & ‘ten cuidado.’

I am from the summers in Florida that felt much calmer.

I am from the bacalaitos & alcapurrias.
I’m from the arroz con gandules, chuleta, bistec, & pernil.
I am from the limbel de coco, and the helado in viejo San Juan, walking with my parents – always afraid of the homeless with their sores.
I am from leche con Quik, & mas leche que café.

I am from la iglesia- la Alianza.
I’m from casa de Abulela y San Francis. I’m from the tiendita with Nutella. I am from Carolina, Ponce, & Isabela.

I am from the isla I wanted to leave, the isla I miss — the place where I first heard God.