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“A voice still and gentle says, ‘You’re beginning to understand.’

‘Am I? Am I to live as a cynic?’

I detect a hint of laughter as the answer comes. ‘You’re to live as one who sees beyond the here and now. Sees as I see. Bodies grow from tender and helpless into strength and then fade away. Mountains rise and fall. And yes, great nations and governments, even brilliant ideas, have their days, and those days sweep into the past.’

‘Is nothing forever then? Nothing reliable, worthy of trust?’

‘I am forever and so are you. The people you see around you are too. But those arms, legs, and faces you recognize, they fade and go away. I give them better ones. You’ll have better ones too.’

‘So it has been you all along.’

‘All along. Trust me.’” – Leanna Glenn Markham


“I take 


to love and hold,


from this day forward,

for better,

for worse,

for richer,

for poorer, 

in sickness, 

and in health. 


I now pronounce 




loved.” – Gracie

A River and a Bridge

Fiction. Based on a true enlightenment.

By Bry LeBerthon

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

Ever since that night,

that ghoulish night where the moon glowed brighter and strangers’ eyes glinted knowingly, 

when you had learned what it truly meant to be alone,

you have had to choose yourself.

over and over again, choose yourself,

because nobody else will ever choose you. 

And isn’t that a good thing?

Isn’t this a miracle?

The loneliness, abandonment, they fostered a great love,

the greatest love you’ve ever known will ever know,

which you can never truly risk or lose.

you are there to fall back on, always, undoubtedly,

your first and last line of defense

undefeatable immortal

just as you are. 

you are still standing despite it all,

and you are by your side, 

and that is all you need

and she is not perfect

but she is right beside you

and that’s more than enough.


when the stars gleam harshly and the fog melts lower and lower towards the ground

you wonder when it will be your time again

when you will step away into the sky you always leave behind.

but now,

until then,

you stand grounded here.

Alone but with company

and you finally take a breath and look around yourself.

and there is everyone else,

staring up with longing at the galaxy,

seeing shining moons and stars and eyes

feeling fog descend upon the earth

and you are not alone

and you never once were

but as you look upon the sea of people,

making eye contact only with the fellow enlightened

you decide to be a companion

and remain among the waves. 

This is destiny,

you realize,

what you’ve always wanted and have known to be true

and you notice that

once again

you are back at square one.

you are healed, 

returned home from a perilous journey

stronger and smarter than ever before

and wondering, 


when you can step back out into the fray once more. 

and you can feel it coming,

as the basement floods and fills with sewage one more time, 

as the kitchen fills with rats with fleas and mites,

and the support beams sag and windows melt

and it is almost time

as you lose yourself among the work and all the drugs

and the feeling once again of what’s unknown

and you know you’re not alone

but you’re almost feeling lost and lonely once again.

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