Just about every morning, i snap these cuffs onto my wrist.

The brown one reads “Born of a broken man but not a broken man.” Lyrics Zach de la Rocha wrote about his father and the way bad religion had twisted him. I wear it as a way to remember (and by grace, transcend) the part of my heritage, culminating in my father’s suicide, that gives in to the religion of materialism and over-work at the cost of health and wholeness. 

That’s where I come from. 
It is not and will not be who i am. 

The black one features the Tom Waits song-title and lyric “Hold on.” The song profiles two people falling in love while living on the street. I remember that human love is often frail. Our sentiments and expressions can be cheap in light of the circumstances we face as well as the ways we can hurt one another; like “a ring made from a spoon” (another line from the song). I’ve come to believe that, when it’s all said and done, the most real thing is presence. Even if I drift, I want to come back. I want to hold on, remember who I am, particularly as defined by the love and relationships I have, rather than my successes and failures. 

Those aren’t static realities. They’re practiced truths. The act of remembering them is not automatic; I have to do it over and over again. 

So, just about every morning, I snap these cuffs to my wrist.