Dear Peyton

Peyton Manning was a great quarterback. One of the greatest of all time, but I don’t want to talk about his athletic abilities. I want to talk about his commitment to writing letters.

Recently I saw a video (included below) and it contains letters that Peyton wrote to his friends, teammates, coaches, parents, siblings, and fans. To say that the video moved me would be an understatement. It is a beautiful testament to one man’s thoughtfulness and love.

It got me thinking; about legacy and other things we leave behind. I want to start writing handwritten notes to the people I love and folks I want to encourage. I want to become synonymous with a kind gesture like Peyton has.

I’ve asked my friend Stephen to hold me accountable to writing letters and for the first few weeks it wasn’t going so well. But tonight, I wrote my first one. It’s to my sister and it’s simple. I don’t want to put any pressure on myself to write perfect quips, but instead, understand that it must come from my heart.

How can you show people love?

What talents or gifts can you share?

I intend to answer these questions with paper and a pen.

Whisper something soft to me

Trains echo in the valley on the west side of town. A large passenger plane streaks by to the nearby airport. Interstate 75 is humming, carrying freight and sleepy travelers making their way south to Louisville and north to Dayton. Rain hits the leaves, the rooftops, the concrete sidewalk and the road without prejudice. A door slams on a 1992 Ford Ranger and its 6 cylinder engine starts after a few misfires. Their is some yelling across the street from Indian international students making their way back from night classes at the college. Honking down on Mcmicken is separated into 4 short bursts. It is very still this night and passing cars make the sound the wind normally does. A gate opens and shuts quickly, while a neighbor boy opens his mailbox with a creak.

It is so quiet most nights that I can almost hear the buzzing from the florescent light bulbs in my room. I can almost hear the mercury causing the glass bubbles to rise in the barometer on my desk and the faint drone of pressure pressing against my eardrums.

It’s during a moment like this when I wish you would say something.

Finish Line

Finishing something is a drug. Writers love to have written. Runners love to have run.

The act of placing that final period at the end of a novel or enduring the race until the finish line both speak to the euphoria of completing a goal. It’s a situation with Machiavellian implications. Do I love the day in and day out work of a big task? Yes. But not as much as I like looking at the glossy, finished product with my name on the cover. People always say, “It’s not about the destination, it’s the journey.” I disagree. The journey is only able to be understood through the lense that the end point affords. I’m not saying the journey isn’t worthwhile, but the destination is just as important.