A poem by the famous Linda Ellis
This poem was read to me on my 2nd day of impatient rehab. Waking up at 5 am and going into the breakfast hall for morning lecture and coffee. There, at the podium, stood one of the largest black guys I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. He played for the Raiders back in the day. He stood with his chest out and blurted out the poem. He said it with such grace, you could tell he had it memorized.
As the people in the video, who have also experienced the emotional and physical fireworks brought on from this poem, know the power of each word. The poem in itself is just words strewn together, but when you think about the meaning behind a simple line, it can change the way you look, see, and feel about the world.
For me, hearing or reading this poem brings tears to my eyes and a heavy weight to the heart. I have seen and experienced things that I wouldn’t even believe. But today, with the help of the people in the video and the community that I have and the family that I belong to, my dash is what I live for. I live to make people smile, to bring joy to those in despair, and bring light where there only seems to be darkness.
The poem also reminds me that life is not all about the amount of materialistic things that I have, the money in my bank account or any of the things that leads away from living a spiritual way of life. To help others, to serve others, to be a part of others lives, to learn, to love, to laugh, to be, not only the man that I would like to be but the human being that I need to be.
The Dash is a poem about how one lives between their dates. It shows the humanity in all of us and the evils that hide. It shares the message of community and the absence of selfishness. The Dash reminds not only me, hopefully, that there is so much more to life than just things, life is beautiful and one should live it with a smile and an open heart to all.