In the fall of 2015, one of our board members, Tara Reynolds, traveled to Minnesota for a Courage & Renewal global gathering. There she met up with Judy Sorum Brown, poet extraordinaire, who penned the beautiful poem, "Fire." We use this poem frequently in our WholeHeart classes and workshops so it was fun to spend time with the poet herself!
Judy asked Tara–a dual citizen of Italy–if she would read the poem in Italian. On the Teaching Heart Fire blog, Judy Sorum Brown writes: “This is Tara Reynolds reading “Fire” – “Il Fuoco” in Italian before a fire in Minnesota at a Courage & Renewal gathering. (Tara is a co-founder of WholeHeart and a facilitator-in-training with the Center for Courage & Renewal.)
During the reading, the dining folks were resetting the dining room – thus all the background noise – but then if “Fire” is about space and quiet, the noise is a good reminder that the world is always with us. Tara said we could post the video of her reading if I said her Italian isn't perfect. I told her the poem wasn't perfect either.
The Italian translation was a gift from Richard Brady, a teacher who taught high school math at Sidwell Friends School. Richard now teaches meditation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh using “Fire” as a meditative framing. He has had the poem translated to use in his teaching in Italy and into Vietnamese for when he is teaching there.
I think the Italian is more beautiful than the original English version that I wrote – and it makes me wonder if when we translate something into the language of others, so they can understand it, we may find we have created something more powerful and beautiful than the original.
Many thanks to Tara Reynolds for the reading and Richard Brady for the translation."
Ciò che fa ardere un fuoco
è lo spazio che vi è fra i ciocchi di legna,
lo spazio del respiro.
pressati troppo stretti tra loro
possono spegnere le fiamme
un secchio d’acqua.
Preparare un fuoco
nella scelta dello spazio
quanto a quello della legna.
Quando saremo capaci di costruire
nello stesso modo
in cui abbiamo imparato
a sistemare i ciocchi per il fuoco,
allora potremmo capire che
il combustibile e la sua assenza
insieme rendono possibile accenderlo.
Dobbiamo imparare solo ad aggiungere legna,
delicatamente, di tanto in tanto.
Un fuoco arde
semplicemente perché vi è lo spazio,
dove la fiamma
che conosce esattamente come vuole ardere
può trovare la sua opportunità.
– Judy Brown