Author Archives: Jenny Sullivan

Knowledge isn’t Power

Throughout my life, I’ve often been confronted with this simple phrase: “Knowledge is power.” I’ve always assumed it was true. The more you know, the better off you are. The more you know, the more likely you are to succeed. Perhaps ignorance is bliss, but wouldn’t you rather be powerful? Wouldn’t you rather have control? Wouldn’t you rather know all the things that are important, to be able to shape your life carefully and always keep your footing firm?

Knowledge is pretty significant in our world. But does it provide power?

I’m not so sure.

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Who do you think I am?

Who am I?

It’s the age-old struggle, the question we’ve all asked ourselves at least once in our lives. This search for our genuine identity begins when we are young and never seems to be completely done. There’s peace with continued self-discovery, but is there ever a point where one can at last leave the doubts behind and say “Aha! That is who I am”? As I ask this very question to myself, I can’t help but sing the familiar strains of the song “Who am I” from Les Miserables. So perhaps before going on, I’ll take a brief musical interlude.

Jean Valjean’s moral dilemma brings to mind the difficulties involved when attempting to create a new identity. We probably haven’t escaped slavery and then adopted a new persona as mayor of a small town, but there may be pieces of our past that we’d like to leave behind. Haven’t you ever wanted to start anew? Think of the possibilities, of the freedom, the power. Imagine if you moved to a completely different city where no one knew you at all. Then you could be whoever you wanted to be. Couldn’t you?

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Walk the Wire

I want to walk the wire,
To wander through the clouds
Removed from mud and mire,
No slave of jostling crowds

To keep my footing sure,
And walk this narrow road,
Strong, balanced and secure,
Relieved of earthly loads

I graze the leafy tops,
Trees strewn across the sky
This strung path never stops,
It stretches past the eye

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Wanting

What do you want most?

It’s a pretty broad question. But some things must flash forward: notions of happiness and love, certain landmarks in life you long to reach. But is there just one thing that could satisfy? Could one thing ever be enough? Enough to stop the pining, enough to feel content… Enough to treasure each precious breath instead of watching the horizon for our someday etched in the starry night sky.

It’s easy to believe that the acquisition of one success would colour our world bright again. Problems rise like mountains before us, blocking our view of what lies beyond. Desire to see the other side, to see that the valley that follows is green and full of promise and not barren and bleak, is overwhelming. The path over the mountain always seem to take a different twist or turn, yet still I reach the valley and it is everything I hoped, just not in the way that I hoped. But the bliss, the relief of reprieve is momentary. The steady surface does not last.

I want success. I want happiness. I want love. I want to see my dreams fulfilled. I would hardly be human if I didn’t.

The question that remains is this: are those the things I want most?

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Facing the Light

When I feel my fear rise up,
Nearly choke me as it comes,
You ask me to remember,
To be mindful of Your love
My flick’ring heart is fickle
And it turns the wrong direction.
Remind me please, O Lord,
You only are perfection.
I want not to feed the evil
But to focus on the light.
I want to give You all control
And not to try and fight.
Place before my eyes
A quick glimpse of salvation,
For from such everlasting love
There can be no separation.

True Triumph

Happy Christmas Eve! It’s crazy to think that this day is already upon us. In some ways, the last couple of months seem to have stretched out for a lifetime, but in other ways it feels like they’ve passed by so fast. A lot has changed for me in the last few months. Before September, I had never been away from home for more than three nights, and now I’ve lived on my own for almost four months!!! Although many obstacles have been present along the way, the feeling after overcoming these minor and major roadblocks is so much better than if they had not been there in the first place. It makes me think of the following quote: “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” (-Joshua J. Marine).

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One Little Thing

One little thing…

One little strand that goes astray; a tiny fragment of life that’s out of order. The other pieces seem unimportant in light of the one that has fallen, the one that is out of place.

Narrowed focus has become my burden. I pay too much attention. I dwell. If only I could widen my gaze. If only I could shift my eyes from the shadows and look into the light.

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Moments

Life is a series of moments.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. For some reason, this simple line slipped into my mind like a gentle whisper, and it feels as though it has been tugging at my heart. Moments. What are moments? I would describe them as fleeting points in time, pieces of life that flash only briefly before your eyes and then fade into the distance. Moments don’t last very long.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize that life isn’t just one dusty, winding road with no end in sight. It is simply a single step, that leads to another step as soon as we attempt the first one. The steps are all connected but we must mount the ones at the bottom before we can move on to the top. All too often I try to skip steps. I view my future as a daunting journey and when I dwell on all that lies ahead, the mere prospect is far too overwhelming.

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