Poetry should please by a fine excess and not by singularity. It should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost as a remembrance. -John Keats
So I was up late the other night, like 1 or 2 in the morning or so. Even though I knew that I should be sleeping already I just enjoy staying up late. I like finding new stuff like the video above for instance. I was browsing facebook, seeing if there was anything interesting someone had posted. Not just “had a great turkey sandwich for lunch” or “fml” but something to slightly enrich my existence. So I saw a post by a friend that I know through my cousin, and who also volunteers at a summer camp with me. She said “This is true poetry.” And just like that my curiosity was piqued. I read on, she said considering all the crap you’re scrolling through on facebook it’s worth it, take a few minutes and watch it.
I can’t tell you how glad I am that I clicked it. I feel as if that video has shifted my path in life. Not necessarily externally (although I hope it does), but internally this video as well as his other work is inspiring me in ways I haven’t felt in quite some time, since I actually believed in God and would get similar feelings in church.
After watching the video, once the goosebumps subsided, I began searching ravenously for all I could find that this man, Shane Koyczan had ever done. Minutes into my search I purchased an ebook of his poems. As cheap as I am, if I buy something rather than trying to find a free copy somewhere it is something very special to me. I felt the 8 bucks or so was well worth the impact that he had had on me already. I just wished I could throw more money at him. Eventually I know I will buy more of his stuff.
What I think affects me so much, besides of course his immense talent at the use of words to make you feel things, was that he reminded me what I loved so much about the time when I was writing poetry. The raw passion that can be put into a poem, once you stop caring so much about formalities and just make something that comes from deep inside you, something you have to say even if no one ever truly hears it. He made me remember that trying is what’s important, and not just that wimpy “trying” where you say oh well I tried in order to excuse yourself for giving up. Trying in the sense of pursuing your dreams in a relentless pursuit where the only way your giving up is when they stick you in the ground or burn your remains to spread in the ocean. Waking up every damn day and saying, “Today I will do better than yesterday.” I will never be perfect, I will never have it all figured out, but I’m not sitting around waiting just because I don’t have all the answers. I’m going to shine, to do what I am passionate about. To chase the dreams that make my heart race when I think of them. My only hope is that watching the video can have at least a fraction of the impact it has had on me. Because I feel different. I feel more hopeful, I feel less afraid.
I am passionate about sharing ideas, and sharing them in such a way that no one has quite heard before. Each moment of our seemingly ordinary existence is filled with such weight, if only because it is transient and will never come back around again. Each moment is a beat in a giant symphony composed by the universe that it plays for itself.
Today, find your “instrument” and join in the chorus.