It started with being offered a position with the school newspaper in the third grade, the dream of becoming a world news reporter.

Around sixth grade and in observation of the world news that particular dream died but not before birthing a real-world observer who would take to journaling everything she witnessed.

Her journals are mainly filled with observations of people in the world but on occasion includes her judgements and opinions of those same people and circumstances since she’s under no contract to report only the facts.

One day as she sat in an emergency room, she journaled on those who’d taken to walking in and admitting themselves. She was more interested in what led them there that day over the afflictions themselves. One elderly woman arrived with luggage as if the ER were no more than a train station between her and her final destination.

As with everything she observes it was ultimately her desire to find the commonality amongst the patients, the one thing that was same with each of them.

Ultimately, there were many things that kept them connected. First, they all arrived alone. Second, they were all in physical and emotional pain. Third, they knew that regardless potential judgement of their character, they would be accepted in their current state without question. Fourth, they’d all surpassed the point of “I’m okay”, whether as false assurance they’d fed to themselves or others. Fifth, they were all asking for help knowing they would receive it even if only temporary.

Still she wondered what brought them there and what afflictions in their lives led to the buildup of such pain that resolution needed to be sought by spoken word across the constraints of bullet proof glass in a building heavily guarded by police and paid for with tax dollars, theirs and ours.

Of course she’ll never know but she wished love for all of them.

The kind of love that heals in physical and spiritual presence. The kind of love that sees the eyes of pain and sorrow through the lens of compassion and not through the false protection of physical weaponry. The kind of love that releases judgement to honor another’s path, pain and lessons. The kind of love that feels welcoming and does not need its hours posted on the front door. The kind of love that reassures each soul that they are supported within and without the buildings, red tape and affliction.

She journals to remind others that we are all connected but if she’s raw and deeply honest, she journals to remind herself that she is not as alone as she sometimes feels.

She journals to remember that pain is the emergency that arrives when we do not allow ourselves to open the doors of our heart, the only place where love conspires to take our breath away.