I have been considering the reasons for my recent return to Facebook. After a big announcement and leaving at the end of July, I signed back on a month later because I am working on the Bernie Sanders campaign and I needed a way of keeping connected to our volunteer activities. I jumped back in with both feet, making frequent political and opinion posts. I jumped back in banging my pans and pots, adding my voice to the cacophony.
Now I remember why I left. I don't want to be driven by that noise and by the need for my voice to be heard when it is near to impossible to be heard in a roomful of shouting people. I have a tendency to immerse myself in whatever issue demands my attention, saturating myself and others with information and opinion. I burn bright and fast. I burn out.
So what of this fire within? How do I want to use it? How do I want to nurture it? How do I keep it alive? It is important to keep my fire stoked and ready to burn. I am not looking to smother the flames but I don't want to be consumed by them.
When I sat down this morning, I thought I would be writing more about tempering the heat. Then I found the Jack Kerouac quote and my heart explodes with all the feelings of knowing and being known.
I am one of the mad ones. I have little tolerance for small talk. I want to dig deeper, reach higher, ask all the questions, and spread my arms wider so I can hold it all. I've spent the better part of my life trying to be less than I am, trying to contain myself, trying to be softer and easier. My fear of burning up, burning out, destroying all around sought to put out the fire. Burning doesn't always lead to destruction so why do I resist?
What if it is my destiny to burn?
There are so many ways to burn. I don't always have to be a roaring bonfire but sometimes I will be. The wild fire will burn all in its path when necessary because sometimes life can only come from death. Sometimes the phoenix needs the ashes to rise again. I can be the welcoming glow of a campfire or simply a single flame of candlelight.
The fire isn't going anywhere. It lives and cannot be destroyed. The question isn't how to not burn but how to burn effectively. How do I burn in a way that brings life and makes life better? That's my quest and guiding question for now. I feel there are some deep lessons to learn. I have more questions than answers right now but that's OK. I will live the questions.