It’s too much…the reckless madman and his cronies…Mother Nature and her devastating tirades…the ever-increasing number of tasks with which we all seem expected to keep up…the absurd amount of information and technology being designed to “simplify our lives”, which only results in separating us further from the meaningful lives we had intended to live... How can a human handle it all? How much can we – or should we – tolerate? When are we to do the things that matter? How do we carry on a life of any significance in the midst of the insanity that is this modern world?
The iconic American poet Mary Oliver describes her response to this dilemma beautifully in one of her latest poems, “What I Can Do”...
The television has two instruments that control it.
I get confused.
The washer asks me, do you want regular or delicate?
Honestly, I just want clean.
Everything is like that.
I won’t even mention cell phones.
I can turn on the light of the lamp beside my chair
Where a book is waiting, but that’s about it.
Oh yes, and I can strike a match and make fire.
Yes. That’s it. I must come back to what is simple, elemental and powerful. Fire is power. Fire is transformational. Fire is courage and vitality and heat and authority. It is a willingness to lead the way. Fire is joy and the readiness to risk. Fire is tenacity. Fire doesn’t take no for an answer. Fire shouts to the heavens with abandon, unafraid. And all it takes to create it is striking a match.
Fire is catching. This weekend as I led Chakra Immersion at Kripalu I lit my own fire as I danced. I listened to body and breath, rhythm and impulse. And it was catching. And our fire grew. And it was powerful. And transforming. And joyous. And real. And needed.
Strike a match. Do something that lights you up and let it catch. The world needs your simple, elemental, powerful joy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be hard. It just has to be yours.