December 29 – Sing Then – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

As long as we sing, the pain of the world cannot claim our lives.

Through cancer, through growing up in America, through learning about the innumerable struggles for freedom around the world, all different but the same, through being with the people of South Africa, it has become very clear that giving voice to what is inner is essential to surviving what is outer. No matter where we live or whom we love, no matter what we want or what we can’t have, this is the lesson I can’t repeat or learn enough.

When everything in life presses from outside of us, we have no choice but to sing like scared children relying on their song to stop the pain, the way that fire stalls the cold.This is the secret of all spirit, why it cannot stay inside, but must be brought from within us into the world. For it is the song from within that keeps the pain of living from snuffing our lives. It is the song from within ignited, again and again, that keeps the world going. When we do this for ourselves, we do it for every child not yet born.

As night and day take turns on this massive Earth spinning nowhere, the song we share within takes turns with the catastrophes of living. When we go silent, the age goes dark.

Sing, then, in whatever tongue your pain has taught you. Sing, though you have no training and never went to school. Sing, because the cry from all the places you have kept quiet will stall the cold, will soften the danger, will keep the world possible for one more turn….

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