Secondhand Zippo.

Via Kate Bartolotta
on Nov 16, 2011
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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 a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on and Barnes & She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


9 Responses to “Secondhand Zippo.”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul says:

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

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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. Erica Mather says:

    Edit! "I've already shared *this* where I can." 🙂

  5. Thanks Erica! And thanks for the pause that your post gave me too. <3

  6. Thanks Meredith & thanks for sharing!

  7. 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.