Be ignited…or be gone…

Tomorrow is my birthday–32 years old! I like to post an annual b-day post because I see it as a great opportunity to reflect on the year past and the year ahead.

I hesitated starting a new blog until I was in a “good space” again…where people could enjoy and be joyful about what’s coming from the inside…out. My creed burned through me and reminded me (oh so often I receive this reminder) that it’s real to have pain, speak your truth, grief is an experience of life, and joy…well “they” all tell me it’s there somewhere.

And that, folks, is where I am on the afternoon eve of my 32nd birthday…in pain, grieving, searching for my joy, and speaking my truth (as opposed to my preferred method of not speaking…anything)

Oh…you’re still reading? I haven’t scared you off yet? Way to go trooper! My 2012 b-day reflection begins with a poem by my FAVORITE poet, Mary Oliver:

What I Have Learned So Far

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside, looking into the shining world? Because, properly attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion. Can one be passionate about the just, the ideal, the sublime and the holy, and yet commit to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a story, all kindness begins with the sown seed. Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of light is the crossroads of–indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

(Oliver, Mary. New and Selected Poems: Volume Two. 2005.)

Oh geeze…where do I start? Let’s move backwards…shall we? “Be ignited, or be gone…”–If you know me…you know that I have a fiery passion. If I had to sum up my life’s call in 5 words or less it would be these words. Ending this poem in this way I find hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. For me, it connotes that I still have enough to be ignited again. I need to find that which allows me to burn again fiercely and with sustenance. Or be gone…I couldn’t agree more…use it or lose it people.

It was this line: “Can one be passionate about the just, the ideal, the sublime and the holy, and yet commit to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so…” that pulled me in with gusto. As a passionate person, who just so happens to be ignited by justice and idealism for sure…sublimity…hmm, I supposed if I thought of the synonym transcendent then yes…my faith, my belief in God…sure I can be passionate about the sublime.  “Commit to no labor…” that phrase sits like a lump of mashed potatoes in my esophagus. 

Passion without an outlet?  What in the hell is that?  How do you respond to a call when the wires have been cut? (an aside…I can’t believe I just used an analogy of a wired phone line…LOL!)  How do you trust this so called “process” and believe that your energy, spirit, passion will be tapped and used for good in this world?  Be ignited or be gone…commit to no labor…I don’t think so. 

On the afternoon eve of my 32nd birthday, I struggle with not being able to commit to an outlet to which/whom I belong—at least one with integrity.  I identify my fire…it may be burning embers, but it still has energy potential.  I’m stuck though, ignited or be gone…more work to do…Happy 32!