Secondhand Zippo.

Via on Nov 16, 2011

Don’t drink the Kombucha? But what if I’m really thirsty?

















I noticed Erica Mather’s post the other day, and thought, “Ooh, what’s this? I like Kombucha! What’s going on? What’s the controversy?” And I read it. And felt annoyed. And chastened. And thoughtful.

Guilty as charged. I am a serial quote sharer. I am one of those folks who love to fill up your Twitter and Facebook feed with secondhand quotes and links to “wisdom.” Rumi. Throreau. Antoine de Saint-Exupery. WhitmanPema ChödrönCTRAlbee. Even that Buddhist cowboy guy from Boulder sometimes…

I loved parts of “Do Not Drink the Kombucha,” because when I feel something that tweaks my ego, and makes me say, “Heyyyy! That’s not fair! I do that!!! I couldn’t possibly be wrong!” I’m glad. I’m glad for the lesson. I’m glad to grow. It’s good to see where we need more time on the cushion and less time on the laptop. It’s good reminder that we have two ears and one mouth, and maybe could use a little more time in shut-the-f-up-asana.  I will take it to heart, and spend more time with these truths on my own instead of immediately hitting retweet.  I will also continue to light my way (and hopefully others’) any way I can.

Secondhand Zippo

I am kindling:

Dry sticks and leaves.

I am a candle, unlit.

A leaf on the breeze,

A child’s smile,

Words of wisdom

Are the secondhand Zippo lighter

I steal to make a light,

To gather warmth to myself.


I am the shell

That catches ocean echoes

No sounds of my own creation.

Rumi and Rilke and Roshi:

Resound through my halls.

They sound my gong,

Otherwise left silent.


Should I sit in the silent cold dark?

Should I pretend I cannot hear them?

That they do not move me?


When Trungpa and Thoreau and Whitman

Call out to me:

Should I not answer?

Should I not carry them forward?


There is one light that goes by infinite names.

It is carried by warriors wiser than I could hope to be

(This time around.)

I lean in to it,

That all the dry kindling of my heart

Might burst aflame.





(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter


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9 Responses to “Secondhand Zippo.”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Love the discussion and reflection on Erica's post!!

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  2. Beautiful & lovely. Makes me want to think before I retweet, except for this…this shall be shared!

  3. Erica Mather says:

    Thank you, Kate! At the heart of the message is to practice. I've already shared your this where I can. Here's to our complicated existence. <3 E

  4. Valerie Carruthers Valerie Carruthers says:

    Great thoughts and honesty, Kate! Retweeting is like running on auto-pilot, keeping a hand in while my head is busy elsewhere. It's so sweet though to close that cover, take a breath and s…t…o…p. Doesn't mean I'm not gonna send this out.

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