Name it.


I only want to have kids so I can name them and dress them. Cats work, too.  Usually I’m great at naming pets and people. I don’t do so good at naming other things like distractions or emotions. If I can identify a feeling and understand it, I can use it or get over it. Naming stuff is hard.

Take now for instance. I have a scrambled egg of emotions and ideas sitting in my little skillet brain, not fully cooked. And now I’m thinking of the “this is your brain…” PSA. Anyway, I can’t name everything. I can’t explain today.

But I found this poem I wrote in July and wanted to share it. In July I went to Joplin on a youth and adult mission trip. We helped with tornado clean up. It was one of those beautiful and overwhelming weeks that changes your life. Here’s the poem.


We’re clearing out rubble

And the teens are getting tired

so quick-thinking Nate makes a game

“You can throw a rock here

if you name it,” he says.

Mildred, Fred, Ted, Big Bertha.

Pedro, Miguel, Rafa, Bob.

We grasp for names

As we hurl rocks into our pile.

Mikey, Susan, Ricky Bobby.

It’s easier to name a rock

Than to label what we feel

After seeing what we’ve seen.

Sadness, Loss, Chaos, Emptiness.

Hope, Peace, Gratitude, Love.

Naming it makes it easier to

pick it up, throw it and let it go.

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