"May your dreams find a place
In the garden of grace
May they grow where you’ve planted the seed
May your faith be a flame
That won’t die in the rain
May you never want more than you need."

-Craig Bickhart

Now, I’m not a huge fan of country music, nor am I an expert in songwriting, but that sounds like lyrical gold to me.

That song verse was written by guitar-wielding, country singing poet Craig Bickhardt, who us Veritas students had the privilege of having as our speaker during last week’s Veritas forum. After a brief introduction, Bickhardt went straight to singing and later on, enlightening his audience with advice about inspiration, life and, most importantly, metaphors. After hearing him speak to the Veritas community, it really came as no surprise to me that he’s written music for the likes of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Martina McBride and Alison Krauss. From the beginning to the end of the forum, Bickhardt had his audience transfixed by his voice, his guitar playing, and his beautiful songwriting.

Like a lot of other students I know, I can sometimes have a hard time with expressing myself in my writing, especially when it comes to school essays. The idea of trying to describe thoughts and emotions (which, as we all know, can sometimes end up being indescribable) freaked me out. I have a feeling that one of the reasons Bickhardt was chosen as a speaker for the Veritas program was to give Veritas students a sense of freedom when it came to writing. His lyrics, saturated with depth and emotion, reminded us that we could be just as powerful in our writing by using tools like metaphors and inspiration from life.

After Bickhardt had left the stage and the forum was over, I found myself inspired and ready to pick up a pencil to finish that essay that I’ve been trying to avoid. Of course it’s easier said than done, but Bickhardt’s musical lecture taught me that I could find inspiration anywhere to help me along. When looking back on the forum, I’d have to say that the Veritas program has again succeeded in helping me see the world a little differently