Monday, October 21, 2013

" We're fascinated by the words--but where we meet is in the silence behind them..."

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”
Leonard Cohen

      At a previous job about ten years ago my co-workers entertained each other with daily creative team chat room conversations. All  of us would agree on a thought provoking topic such as our favorite comedy movie quotes, hottest male/female athletes with foreign accents or "finish this 80's hair metal band song lyric". One evening the selected subject was  "Choose Your Fantasy Parental Unit". We speculated about our fantasy football teams and fantasy rock band musicians so this wasn't too much of a mind stretch. Realistically, most people love their own parents or at least tolerate them until adulthood. Granted we were all in our twenties, thirties or older, some teammates were parents a few grandparents and we all encouraged relieving stress and expanding our imaginations. We were working for a technology company so Bill Gates, Tim Berners-Lee and Fujio Masuoka "fathered" quite a few of my associates. At the time my chosen parents were Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama. One can only imagine the philosophical punishment lectures that may have transpired  in my youth after "Mom" and "Dad" discover a bottle of Peach Schnapps my best friend stashed in my book bag or the time I "earned" a big fat "F" in my high school trigonometry class. So my fantasy parents selection was based on the multitude of admirable qualities Oprah and the Dalai Lama possess including resilience, kindness, compassion, tolerance, a love of books and animals

     Every now and then you have to let go. Let yourself imagine you can do or be anything. Why wouldn't you? As children we did this every single day. It's how we discover why we are here. Author and theologian, Albert Schweitzer once brilliantly observed, "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."  In life you will encounter other people, watch films, hear music, taste food and read novels that inspire you to reach far beyond the self imposed limits of your day to day comfort zone. One such author of an extraordinary book I read inspired me to follow my true passions. I felt so motivated by this writers journey that I wanted to show my great appreciation by contributing in some way to an emerging idea so much greater than myself. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm wasn't shared or supported by as many people as I had hoped, putting myself in a self inflicted financial bind, missing out and messing up a new adventure.  Although my generosity was well intentioned, nothing went according to  my six month action plan. There is no one to blame but myself. Lessons learned. Looking at the big picture with gratitude I still crossed my finish line. Be aware, be awake, be conscious and always be grateful for those who reignite your flame.