“To be great, be whole: nothing
Of yourself exaggerate or exclude.
Be all in all things. Put all you are
Into the least you do.
So, in every lake the whole moon
Shines and, soaring, lives.”
This poem, in its original version, was glued to my desk on my 6th or 7th grade by a professor. I don’t remember which professor it was, but I would like to thank her for giving me such good words to live by. That year, I read it every day, and it never ceased to amaze me.
It became my motto.
First of all, to “be whole” – to accept everything in me and about me, not exaggerating my strengths, and not excluding my weaknesses. They each have their place, they each serve a purpose. They each teach a lesson.
Secondly, “to be all in all things“.
To be fully present and aware. To be mindful. To listen to every word when someone’s talking, to feel every touch in a massage, to listen to every sound in a song. To kiss life with eyes closed.
This takes immense amounts of practice and discipline, in which meditation has played a huge part.
The past is a daring temptation – assaulting me with replays of good memories, or tormenting me with fear of old traumas. The future is a window from which I can’t help but look at the ocean – some days its turquoise and calm, others it’s dark and stormy. In either case, it’s just a view, I’m not there yet, I can’t swim – so there’s no point in drowning on its shores.
Third, to “put all I am in the least I do”. Be it a relationship, a university paper or a yoga practice. I always strive to give it my all: to give all my love, to write down all my words, to spill all my sweat on the mat. Because only in that way can I be satisfied, given the inevitability of unattainable perfection – if I gave it my all, that’s all you can ask of me. That’s all I can ask of me. Is it enough? There’s no such thing as enough. It will never be enough, because as I grow, my all becomes bigger, I get better.
A paper could always be improved, if it weren’t for the deadline. We would eventually attain perfection, if we didn’t die.
And last but not least, the moon. Oh, the moon! I love that she has a place in this poem. It would be enough without her mention, but with it? It’s perfection. I guess it is attainable after all.
The moon fascinates and intrigues me. Its presence, its light. The fact that it is so far away, and still has such an enormous influence on our planet – it regulates the tides, it lights up the nights, it propels pregnant women to give birth. Isn’t it fascinating? How the moon, a round stone almost 400 thousand kilometers away from us, can influence a human being’s arrival to our planet?
But that’s not why I love the moon. I love the moon because it has a dark side. Because every 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds, she transforms herself completely.
From darkness into light, and vice-versa. It reminds me of what my mom told me once – that nothing is irreversible. That there will always be darkness, and there will always be light. That we are like the moon, and we should keep that in mind – when there’s a blackout, fill ourselves up again, with the assurance that, in 29 days, we will be joyously reflecting the sun’s brightness again. And when we’re lit up, let us not forget either that it is ephemeral. Let us not get dazzled with the light, because it will eventually extinguish.
For me, the beauty of the moon is the beauty of life. It lies in the contrasts, in the changes, in the evolutions and revolutions that we are able to make happen inside ourselves.
And so, “in every lake the whole moon shines and, soaring, lives”.