Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Write or Wrong

"Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art."
~Charles Baudelaire

Last night I was humbled and utterly touched by an email I received from someone who is virtually a stranger to me. I've never met this person; we've only communicated in words over the internet, and not for very long, at that.

He wrote a breathtaking, and quite baring piece about what's going on in his soul right now. I won't share that because it's personal to him and I'm not at liberty. However, he followed it with the following words: Barb, I really only share this because you have been the guide for me to find strength to reach in and do this. It is/has been something I have done before and I have written well... But it has been shut down or taken away and I thank you for finding it and giving it back.

Considering that this is a person whose strength and skills I admire, I was completely blown away by his words. I've used this quote before, but it's one of my favorites - Thoreau said, "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." In conjunction with that is a line to a song that I wrote a few months back, "Don't wanna rearrange your world, I just wanna change your day." If something I wrote, some mental image I conveyed to him, influenced him in such a way that it allowed his eyes and heart to open up, or open back up in this case, then... wow. What an honor. And what a validation of everything I've come to believe and try to be.

But, as anyone who knows me 'for reals' could tell you, I'm no paragon of virtue. I told him so, I wrote back: But... I'm not all that. I have my dark side. I'm stubborn; I'm too forceful sometimes; I cry too easily; I laugh too easily; I can be kind of intense (I'm told). But the Universe gives us balance in everything - where there's heaven, there's earth; where there's water, there's fire. Those same qualities that get me into trouble are also my greatest assets. If I'm sometimes too stubborn, then that stubbornness alse allows me to dig in and fight back when I need to; if I'm too forceful sometimes, that forcefulness also allows me to make my way in a world that would just as soon trample me (and once did); if I cry too easily, it's because I'm so friggin empathetic that I can identify with another's hurt; if I laugh too easily, I can also see beauty in the ordinary; I'm too intense? It's just creative fire. Each of us possess that same yin/yang of any given attribute. I would dare say that your (quality) has probably gotten you into trouble, but has also allowed for you to get through some very tough times. That you can recognize it shows a bit more enlightenment than the average person. I 'dig' that. I like that you refered to me as a guide. That's one of the coolest things anyone has ever said to me. Because, face it, I didn't teach you to write - clearly that was already there. All I did was maybe shine a little bit of light into a dark corner.

We have to be careful where we direct those beams. There's no telling what import we may have in another's world. It's a nearly overwhelming responsibility, and so often we go through life glibly flinging things out into the Universe. Our imprint on others is much like the pebble getting tossed into the pond - long after the pebble has sunk to the mucky floor, the ripples are still expanding and changing the texture of the pond.

"For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change."
~Ingrid Bengis

Off I go... treading ever so gently...

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