gotta be alive to be in danger of dying by Lauren Steele

You know how sometimes you can just imagine and insert yourself into a place?

That's what I've been trying to do and a lot of imaginings seem natural. 

by Lauren Steele

And I think it all just goes back to our idea that we must live insatiable lives (more things, more money, more problems) instead of embracing our ability to be insatiable for life (more experiences, more happiness, more interaction)
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There's that ringing in your ears by Lauren Steele

When did you stop hearing the ringing of the world in your ears?

I wonder, how did our thickening blood halt to the hurling of the planet?
Is the spinning of the axes the only chaotic routine we could never keep up with

Did your skin get tougher?
Did your senses get dull?
Did your heart tucker out?

Because I still feel dizzy when I spin away from the wind
And weak when mother nature breaks my bones. 

I still feel small enough to need to look up

I still feel like the child
Who wondered what was that ringing in my ears
When all was silent. 

(Hood River, 2016)

by Lauren Steele

Here's to the long white road that beckons
The climb that baffles
The risk that nerves
And here's to the heart that reckons
The rough with the smooth and never stirs

From a mentor by Lauren Steele

Connect with the driving spirit in you that can stay true to that Faulknerian spirit of writing, voiced in the Nobel Prize acceptance speech of 1950. You know to write of the heart, not the glands. And you know that in your workshop should reside "the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice."

by Lauren Steele

Don't try to come undone

I ground a piece of chewed up spearmint gum into the couch.
I stirred cream into my coffee.
I left some bloody skin on a rock road and some gravel in my knee. 
I baked an apple cobbler.

The gum won't come up.
The cream won't come out.
The stain won't lift up.
The cobbler won't unbake.

My grandma taught me how before she died.

I was baptized in the holy waters of a stock tank pigs drink from. 
I learned how to make my eyes look bigger when I put on mascara.
I cheated on my college algebra final.
I told them that I love them, 
and I meant it. 
I would never drink milk. 
Sometimes I would walk into bars acting like I was meeting someone there, 
just so I could pretend and look pretty.

I told my secrets,
one by one, 
until I had shared them all with someone else's eardrums and pounding conscience. 
But the all the things that I thought were the ones that changed everything weren't. 
Everything was what made nothing the same.

I taught myself that before I died.

dispatch from uganda by Lauren Steele

Today I stopped by the roadside of a small village school. It was around 730am and all of the kids were walking down the red dirt road and across the large dried-up grass lawn to their brick school. I waved to a few little girls walking, and their mouths dropped. I asked our driver to pull over. He did. When I opened the car door the little girls shrieked and ran the opposite direction. 

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by Lauren Steele

We all know we have weaknesses. And inside at our deepest knowledge of ourselves, we know there is the potential to fail. That’s why we need others. We need an audience. We need someone at the finish line, in the stands and at our sides who doesn’t believe in that failure. Because when the weakness does not exist in their eyes, you won’t let it exist inside of you.

by Lauren Steele

Fortune cookies
I've had a little proverb from a fortune cookie in my wallet since high school. Its wisdom seems just as applicable now as ever:
"It is as bad to go too far as it is to fall short."

by Lauren Steele

I'm in a minivan

I'm in a minivan driving alongside the Turn Again Inlet looking at fog and clouds and day-breaking sun fight over the dominion that mountain peaks have not claimed.

And I'm smiling.

Because I am here and all of you are here with me. All of the laughs and tears and late night talks and morning coffees. It's all here with me.

A running tab on a cumulative life that I feel so fortunate to share.


by Lauren Steele


The ground is beneath us,

But the earth stretches out ahead.

Who claims authority?

There is ascendency onwards,

And superiority in the overhead

That I found only when I felt the air above the earth,

And saw the ground we had covered behind us.

by Lauren Steele


Are you where you are

because of who you are?


Are you who you are

because of where you've been?

by Lauren Steele


Do not seek too much fame
But do not seek obscurity
Be proud
But do not remind the world of your deeds
Excel when you must
But do not excel the world
Many heroes are not yet born
Many have already died
To be alive to hear this song
That is a victory