Giving Way to Passion

by Simon Goland, January 18, 2011

Today’s Reflection is about year passed, duality, and passion. A rich combination indeed.

2010 has ended and this one started, and even though the transition was smooth, contemplative, and loving for me, it feels as though life is escalating again. 2011 is going to be a beautiful year; I know it from my own senses, intentions, and what the cards and the stars seem to have ready for me.

The picture, however is bigger than just me. And, as it is often the case, is convoluted, filled with paradoxes of duality, and interdependent forces dancing together cheek to cheek. As the words of the “La Maza” song, by Mercedes Sosa, go, “Que cosa fuera la maza sin cantera” which translates into “What would be the mallet without quarry (to cut out stone).” More on this song a tad later.

I stumbled upon a beautiful summary of the year in Yes! Magazine, which is always a fabulous and inspiring magazine to have handy. Their year in review talks about the 10 most hopeful stories, and is here: . It ends with this:

“The turbulence of our lives is increasing, spurred by the crises in the economy and the environment, growing inequality and debt, military overreach, deferred peacetime investments, and species extinctions. Turbulent times are also times when rigid belief systems and institutions are shaken, and change is more possible. Not automatic, and definitely not easy, but possible. The question of our time is how we use these openings to work for a better world for all life.” – Sarah van Gelder

Heather and Greg left to Guatemala this morning, driving from Vancouver because they didn’t want to experience all the hassle of taking Tika, their dog, on a series of flights. A couple of weeks ago, a group of friends got together in a local Indian restaurant for a farewell dinner for them. There were a few musicians, and at some point two of them got up and sang a series of mostly-Spanish songs. A guitar and a voice.

There was this one song in particular, expressed with incredible passion and voice that penetrated deep into the cells of my whole body. When I approached the singer later, to compliment him on the performance and ask for the song title, he told me that it was “La Maza” by Silvio Rodriguez. And off I go looking for the song, finding the many performances of it by various artists. Somehow, passion is also much better expressed in Spanish.

The original was performed by Silvio Rodriguez ( There is a beautiful performance by Mercedes Sosa, with or without Shakira (, and another one by Andrea Parodi (

“It’s the soul’s duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.” – Rebecca West

Passion. The depth of one’s soul. Vibration of power, of aliveness, of wild untamed energy, unleashing itself into the world. Passion that transcends languages, boundaries, logic, and borders. Music that can only be felt in a language I don’t fully understand, heard in full volume and no less. Life that is vibrant, burning, alive, untamed, with wild abandon and energy that sets the world on fire.

This is a delicious way to start a whole new year.