"Feed the lamp with oil and let it not dim, and place it by you, so I can read with tears what your life with me has written upon your face." –Kahlil Gibran
This quote comes from a poem titled The Life of Love. Kahlil Gibran writes about the human condition and the wonder of being alive. The name of the book is A Tear and A Smile. A tear and a smile pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling lately, the dichotomy of both/and.
It has been a curious year filled with the full spectrum of life’s unpredictability and the fascination of story whether it is nature’s or the behavior of man, which is really a reflection of the other. It has been a gift to feel with all my senses the waves of emotion that arise and learn which ones to surf and which to let sink to the bottom of the ocean un-churned; discern which stories to believe and those to let go of. Really, it’s as easy as that. “Let Go.” And all the while, through all this living filled with joy and sorrow and all that lies between, I am leaning into my practice even more, tending the sacred hearth, the lamp within. Keeping the flame bright and not letting it dim in the midst of passing, daily details is both the challenge and the reward. Another day dawns and what were yesterday’s sorrows are now today’s hopes and a promise of a new beginning.
I am hopeful for new beginnings in the light of a most divisive year on many counts. There has been travesty in the yoga world and the political realm. The wrath of nature has affected the world at large, and most recent the tragedy in Newtown, CT has affected and forever changed us. My hope for the new year, the new paradigm of the magnanimous heart, the collaboration for the greater good, is that we can find common ground as a connected, collective, United States of being human and find solutions to our shared concerns. I believe if we stop making each other wrong and begin to listen to one another with a compassionate ear we can get to the heart of matters, see where we agree, more than disagree and begin to heal the broken hearted. For as Mother Teresa said, “We belong to one another.”
This is where we are going. The world did not end on 12/21/12, as some predicted. Instead it was the Solstice celebration of going into the deep night of shadow and seeing the light re-emerge as we remember the dignity of Being and the commitment that goes along with that. It is an opportunity to realign our moral compass to the true north of our kindred hearts, to hold each other in high regard and co-create a world that esteems Nature and all who inhabit her.
A deep bow of respect and gratitude for the tender young buds who left this world too early in trust that we may make the necessary shifts in consciousness to shape the world and make it a better place to leave a legacy of hope and love for future generations to come. It is my hope that our eyes and hearts may be widened to find solutions that shape the world rather than continuing to react out of fear. Some may say it can’t be done. Yet, Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Ha-ha! As I’m writing this (no lie) in the shuffle of my iTunes I’m listening to Sugarland’s song Stand Up, the lyrics being, “won’t you stand up you girls and boys, won’t you stand up and Use Your Voice!” (see the video here - Sugarland) I love synchronicity. Let’s use our unified voices to manifest the seemingly impossible till it’s done!
In this time of Holy days of turning inward to listen to the wellspring of wisdom, and the joy and merry making of the Holidays that fill our spirits, I invite you to remember this from Rumi, “The lamps are different, but the Light is the same. One matter, one energy, one light, one light-mind, endlessly emanating all things.”
Let us use this One Light as source to generate a better future.
I, for one am going to deepen my practice, feed the lamp with oil, nurture my soul with good company and with a tear and a smile enjoy the privilege of being here at this momentous time in history to be the change I wish to see. I have Hope.