by Mark Nepo
When wax and wick work best,
Light and heat are all that’s left.
Like a candle, our wick of spirit is encased in our humanity, and when our spirit is touched, we light up until all we know melts and changes shape for the burn of our experience. Repeatedly, our sweat and struggle burns our sense of self and world away, so that our Divine spark can be released, again and again. These moments of Spirit-Lighting-Up not only rearrange our lives, but they light and warm those who stay near.
In such moments, we become one with what we see, and this sudden Oneness is what the faithful of all paths have called Love. And in the illumination of Oneness called Love, all that’s left is a willingness toward birth, an urge to be touched by something timeless and fresh. All that’s left is the want of deep parts in strangers. To relish the waking over being awake, the burning over being burned, the loving over being loved.
When we can be – no matter how briefly – at one with what we have in common with all life, we are rewarded beyond attachment and ownership. This is the difference between becoming a singer and becoming the song. This is the best of ambition: that the dancer melts into the dance, and the lover melts into the act of love, and the builder melts into the thing being built, until in a burst of Oneness, dancer and lover and builder are one.
Perhaps momentarily, when swimming with the stream, we are the stream; when moving with the music, we are the music; when rocking the wounded, we are the suffering. Perhaps momentarily, when thinking without masks, we are pure thought; when believing without doubt, we are God. Perhaps love is an instrument we play for all we’re worth in an orchestra yet to be convened. Perhaps this is why, in the fullest moments of loving or knowing or being, we go nameless and timeless and breathless – everything about us used up, like a candle, burned over and over, just to light entire rooms with our flicker.
This is a poem I had read at my union ceremony with my husband this past fall and it was such a beautiful representation of life in love.