My Goodbye Letter — Randy Elrod

"Dreamin'" A watercolor self-portrait by Randy Elrod

“Dreamin'” A watercolor self-portrait by Randy Elrod

goodbye

I’ve decided to say goodbye. For real. To my 51,545 followers on social networks. 

To put that number in perspective, it is roughly equivalent to the total population of Sarasota, Florida. A small city but for one person a large responsibility, a large obligation, a large…burden.

It’s time for me to be fully present at Kalien, my home. To live of the land, not on it. To not worry any longer about the history of yesterday, nor the mystery of tomorrow—but rather, to be fully aware of each moment where my body and soul are physically present—the only time that is real. I’ve found social networks, like our western culture, to be astoundingly soulless and disembodied.

After twelve years as an early adopter and evangelist, I’ve come to realize (at least for me) social networks are not really real. They tend to become an addictive facade. Especially in my case, with this many followers, it is virtually impossible for one’s network to change and move at the speed of a real meaningful life. A life that is messy, changing, growing, and yet, somehow thriving in the visceral reality of each day.  

A life with ups and downs, but a life that is now free and clear.

Here are my last words to you—unless your journey brings you to the beauty and peace that is Kalien

I hope to give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean. I plan to dress in a simple manner (for those of you who really know me, this is not a surprise). I will place myself before God, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy. 

To all, I would say how mistaken we are when we think that we stop falling in love when we grow older, but rather, we grow old when we stop falling in love.

I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves. I would say that death doesn’t arrive when you grow old, but when life loses meaning.

I have learned so much from you virtual friends, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken and the suffering used to reach the top of the hill.

I know that when newborn daughters hold, with their little hands, their father’s finger, they have trapped him for the rest of his life.

If I knew that this is the last time to communicate with you, I would say: “Have the courage to be who you are”. 

I leave you not as a sage with all the answers, but rather as an encourager who has a lot of questions. I want to have a questioning spirit, and to be able to distinguish between false crosses and true ones. 

I wish every day to be delighted by surprise. To see pleasure as a calling, a measure of integrity.

I want to learn how to live slowly, taste knowingly, listen artfully, touch thoughtfully, smell carefully, and see wakefully. 

But most of all I wish to love truly. To cultivate a loving relationship with nature, with my loved ones, with my soul and body—and ultimately with the creator of this universe. 

I am not running away to die, on the contrary, I am opening up to life.  

godspeed.

8 Responses to “My Goodbye Letter — Randy Elrod”

  1. Well said and Godspeed! Hope to meet you some day and hear how it all went.

  2. Randy, your voice is a clear signal in a noisy world. I would encourage you to continue writing as a form of worship (Romans 12:1-2).

    Thank you for your faithfulness,

  3. Thanks for all the words and challenges down the years Randy. You inspired me so much in my early blogging steps…. I’m truly thankful.

    Every blessing from Ireland. :)
    Ally Simpson´s last blog post ..Teamwork

  4. Carryl Robinson June 28, 2016 at 08:17

    Randy,

    Although I have been an infrequent – okay, rare commenter, please know that your words and your art have encouraged me through some long, dark nights of the soul. I wish you peace and the knowledge that you are loved beyond the world you can see. Your influence has stretched far. I will miss seeing you on the interwebs, but remain content in the hope and knowledge that your light still shines.

    God speed,
    Carryl

  5. Heather Armstrong June 28, 2016 at 09:12

    “Fair winds and following seas…”

  6. Phyllis Thompson June 28, 2016 at 11:46

    Wisest posting I’ve seen from you yet! My sentiments exactly! Godspeed!

  7. Godspeed, Randy. I have often contemplated the same reasons for a departure from social media altogether but haven’t taken the plunge yet. This post only makes me more convinced to do so. Thank you for sharing your journey so openly along the way, and therefore bring us along with you. I hope to see you someday soon at Kalien!

  8. “Everything’s hard until it’s easy.” Glad you’re forging a path toward greater significance, and ease by being most who you want to be — and need to be. Be well.

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