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The Brave Ones

Image Swimming: Day 3 of 60

Image Swimming is a term I invented for a series of literary meditations inspired by visual work — in this case, the work of Deborah Koff Chapin, creator of Soulcards. I’m using the cards from Deck 2. Please visit for more on this transformative process.

Yeah, whatever. That’s not at all what’s going on these days. That’s a bullshit kumbaya fantasy.

That was my first thought. That’s where I went first when I looked at this image. Pick another one, I thought. Pick a different image.

Instead, I decided to stay with this one. To swim in it for a while.

When I did, I was reminded that millions of things are going on simultaneously in this world. Not just one thing. Not just climate change or political corruption or the rise in gun violence. There is redemption going on, too. There are people risking their lives for peace and succeeding. Arguments are being waged that resolve into deeper understanding from both sides. It really is happening all over the world. It’s just not being reported.

Acts of emotional bravery are being matched by the physical ones every day—in kitchens, in traffic, in police departments, in campaign offices, in prisons, in churches, in schools, and in bedrooms—modest, non-newsworthy acts of bravery every day.

This image shows our planet at the center, surrounded by darkness.

But beings who have their roots in that darkness come shining up out of it, connected. Individual but also connected. These are the unsung heroines and heroes that are choosing consciousness over blind reaction, the measured response over violence. These are the ones quietly moving through the world with tender hands, mending everywhere they go.

These are the brave ones I’m talking about.

Do you see how much bigger they are than the planet?

Do you see how they can hold all of it — the darkness and the globe and all its life forms? Do you see how the light they generate makes room for everything?

That’s us. That’s you and me. That’s the power we hold in our hands.

Rise up with me out of that ring of darkness.

Let’s be part of that battalion.


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