My story is selfish.
It began engraving keys in the winter of 2013, a broke seminary student, alongside of a small and motley crew of volunteers and homeless Los Angelenos, because my dear friend Brit Moore, asked me to help during the Holiday rush.
I've kept both of my keys for far too long. Because, parting is such sweet sorrow. Because, I was afraid to give away my words and the hope they birthed in me time and time again.
Brit's brother, Lincoln (my best friend through seminary) gave me my "Create" key while I had the privilege of being his co-best-man at his wedding in Detroit.
Brit gave me the "Triumph" ket during my last year in seminary while I was also trying to record my first EP and full of so much self-doubt. Finishing is terrifying.
I recently gave both keys, on their single chain, to the girl I adore, who lives far from me.
It's been many years, maybe never, since I've felt such assurance of affection and fidelity.
Much thought was put into their gifting. I was nervous that giving them to her wasn't radical enough for the stories associated with The Giving Key's legacy.
Being given both of those keys meant so much. The words struck home, in times of plenty and times of brooding darkness.
Lincoln and Brit have inspired both of their words in and for me powerfully over the years.
Giving them away feels like such a risk. They have been a safe harbor.
Our story, hers and mine, are just being written. And yet, it seems fitting to risk in this way.
"Don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away," says Steinbeck, in a letter to his young-and-in-love-son.
Regardless of where this leads, "Create" & "Triumph" will forever resonate.
Strangers: You who are simply friends I've yet to meet. Create, triumphantly, with your life, loves, art, and compassionately sacrificial empathy for each wounded neighbor whom you meet during your every-day, walking around life.
Fear not darkness.