Several years ago the company I used to work for became involved with one of those motivational gurus. A big bucks guru. Last time I checked his website the DVD version went for a cool 10K. Ouch. The guru shall remain nameless. I was low enough on the totem pole that I managed avoid being shipped clear across the country. I guess this routine works for some folks but, the more I heard the less I liked what I was hearing. From the descriptions I heard it seemed to be a cross between a mini boot camp, revival meeting and a rock concert. We got a little taste of the program at an office meeting and when I asked one “graduate” what the loud music was supposed to accomplish I was told it was “part of the program.” To be honest, after several years, I still haven’t figured out how keeping me up most of three nights running, or trying to fracture my eardrums was supposed to improve my team building skills. I guess this why they paid him the big bucks.
Having figured out where I didn’t want to go, I found myself trying to put where I was coming from into words. I believe what still troubles me the most is the effort to keep us all running so fast we don’t have time to think. To keep the man made noise so loud that we can’t hear what the world around us is saying.
Anyway, this is what I came up with. If you were to bet that I never shared any of this with my former co workers, you’d win. I believe what still disturbs me the most is the idea that you can do it all by yourself. The old visualize success; you’ll succeed and it’s your fault if your vision doesn’t come true. That may be true to a point and motivational speakers pushing the idea do keep the money circulating. But, nobody and I mean nobody makes it alone. So here I am. God/dess help us all.
For the old Celts the elements were Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Each element has a voice; but it can’t sing without the others. Without Earth in the form of the moon there would be no tides; no waves save those from the great storms. Without those waves caused by the tides there would be no hiss of wavelets meeting sandy beaches. The great booming roar when tons of salt water meets two hundred feet of black basalt cliffs would be lost or muted forever. Without the mountains to form cliffs and steep falls the roar of the waterfall would not exist. Without the rocks and stones in their beds, rivers and streams would lose their voices.
Fire has a quicker, harsher song. Without water to make steam and sizzle, without wood to burn, Fire would have almost no voice. As lava flows cool the rocks grind together and the escaping gasses hiss and twist. Take away the fire from the earth’s mantle and these voices fall silent.
Air has a voice when it meets Earth and what grows from the Earth. The sighing of the trees, the lonely whistle around the cliffs, the cry of the gulls carried inland from a windy beach, the rustle of the grasses. These come together to make a chorus when the Air sings its songs.
Earth sings some of her songs alone; the sounds of rocks falling and sand or gravel rustling when you walk across them are earthly solos. But many of Earth’s songs are sung by what grows from rocks and soil or swims in the rivers or seas. But, without Air to carry birdsong or Water to carry whale songs the world would be a quieter, lonelier place. Let us join our songs to the songs of Earth, Air, fire and Water. Together these are the songs of Creation.