I love poetry.
Poets grant to all of us a rare glimpse into words and word images that provoke an echo or perhaps a shared understanding or maybe an epiphany. To read a poem is to become part of it. To immerse oneself in that poem is to be transformed. To be transformed is to take a step closer to enlightenment.
Or maybe just a deeper understanding of oneself.
Poets tear open the veil between what we show the world and what we hide.
It is this truth, the truth we bury deep inside of us, that will set us free?
Free from what?
This truth will set us free from those chains or weights holding us back from experiencing the full spectrum of emotions, the full breadth of who we are, as we face adversity.
Some say that “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas (October 27, 1914-November 8, 1953), is about the tenacity of the human spirit. Others say that the poem is an example of the breaking open of possibility, or perhaps that death is not welcome. Or maybe a referendum on how the poet felt about the loss of his father.
I choose to think that Thomas is focused on using each bit of time left, maximizing the expertise that comes with experience and old age, and not simply laying down to the inevitable. I find this thought process to be especially helpful in dealing with the metastatic cancer experience in that while we know it is terminal, we’re #NotDeadYet.
Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the lightDylan Thomas
In this rare recording, Thomas himself brings his masterpiece to life …
And so I invite each of you to not go gentle into the night, but to rage against the dying of the light, not that anger or rage is necessary, but the striving. To make the time we each have left on this earth matter requires a focus, an intensity, an energy, and some large amount of grit. At some point, acceptance will be required, when there is no more time left.
But for now, I will continue to rage against the dying of the light.