The first thing I hung on the bulletin board in our new VOICES' office was a quote by Parker Palmer:
"When you speak to me about your deepest questions, you do not want to be fixed or saved: you want to be seen and heard, to have your truth acknowledged and honored. If your problem is soul-deep, your soul alone knows what you need to do about it, and my presumptuous advice will only drive your soul back into the woods. So the best service I can render when you speak to me about such a struggle is to hold you faithfully in a space where you can listen to your inner teacher."
Our board member, teammate, brilliant artist and maker, Shere Coleman, shared this quote with me on the day of our first VOICES Board Meeting. It reminds me that we can invite creativity and meaningful expression into the room when we do two simple things: hold space, and listen. It reminds me that the work of creative risk and bravery first requires a safe place for our feral souls to venture out from their hiding places to play.
I am giddy and terrified by the prospect of midwifing this organization into the world. But I trust in the wisdom of human beings like Parker Palmer, like Shere Coleman, the entire VOICES team, and the voices I have yet to meet.
And I trust beginnings. Sometimes I yearn for them.