I am not convinced that “unity” is a matter of setting our differences aside. I think unity is a matter of bringing the raw ingredients of our differences to the kitchen table. And at that kitchen table, we will look at all of our ingredients, and we will realize, it’s actually pretty difficult, messy, time-consuming, and energy-consuming trying to make all of this work together.

I think “unity” is:

“on this day, we’re not going to give up and make just something easier. The water is already boiling on the stove. The cooking utensils are ready to go. The fire…

there will be people
who move on without you,
and people you admired
that you can no longer look up to,
and there will also be
gaps in the trees
where the wind blows through
and reminds you:
no matter the betrayal
or the rejection,
there is still room in this life
to make
new connections.

and there is also
still room
to breathe,
letting your heart
soften into release,
finding that no matter what is changing
you are still free to pursue peace.

for there will be storm clouds
hovering the flower fields
where you were hoping
to watch the setting…

Yesterday, I asked people on Instagram “Using 1 Word — How are you today?” One of the top answers was “Confused.” I went to sleep thinking about this, and I created this art series and wrote the following words with you in mind.

You’ve made it halfway through the year, and yet, sometimes, it feels like you’re only just beginning. You’re just now starting to figure out what you feel and…it’s exhausting.

Shouldn’t you already have the words to say?
Shouldn’t you know what you are doing with your life?
Haven’t you been angry and heartbroken enough to finally know how…

I have found that sometimes, pursuing peace happens in the quiet and sometimes it happens when finally speaking up, in saying what your heart has been meaning to say. I have found that speaking up doesn’t mean that everything is suddenly resolved or figured out. Speaking up does not mean you are guaranteed to get the response you were longing for, but I have found that it matters to be free. It matters to loosen the shoulders and know that I am just a little bit closer toward not holding it all any longer. I am stronger.

Today, I hope…

art and words by morgan harper nichols

What if your story was not only about staying on top of things but about getting to the bottom of things? What if you actually needed unforced rhythms and slower paces to truly live through this season in a way that helped you grow? What if there are stories inside of you that are waiting to be shared, thoughts, and ideas stirring inside of you that can only be cultivated when you’re not in a rush?

When we think of expressing ourselves or sharing our stories, it’s normal to think of social media or sharing with a crowd of people…

Steven Pahel

If the weight of the world
is on your shoulders tonight,
may you learn the art
of traveling light.
may you carry on with peace,
find the courage to keep going
and everything beautiful
will happen in time.
- Morgan Harper Nichols

In a year marked by valleys,
the unknown and unexpected,
may you always find The Way
to unexpected grace,
where again and again
Light will pour in
and remind you in the end
everything will be okay.
- Morgan Harper Nichols

I have shared this a thousand times by now, but I have never shared the story of how I felt when I wrote it. It was a quiet November night, my husband was working late, and I was sitting in our one bedroom apartment alone. Emotionally, I was alright. Nothing crazy was going on and it felt like an ordinary night. Then, my mind was suddenly flooded with all of the times I had failed. These thoughts were entirely out of nowhere. This was 2016 when there had been a huge transition in my [music] career. Overall, I had been…

This is a letter in response to the writer who sent me a message. She has come back home from time abroad, but has not been able to write. I wrote these words for her.

I hope in this season you can find the courage to keep traveling, even when your feet are firm on the ground. …

Morgan Harper Nichols

artist and writer

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