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At a writer’s workshop in Nashville, poet Ciona Rouse was prompted to write a postcard to herself from someone she had lost. She thought of her late friend and mentor, Teri. And when she saw a postcard with a picture of a busker balancing a sword on his chin, she knew it was the one. She flipped the card over and began to write, ‘Do the crazy thing…’
“This is exactly the way she lived and what she would say to me,” Ciona told me by email, “take risks, do the thing on your heart!” The resultant poem, Do The Crazy Thing, spoke to Ciona like an old friend at a time when she needed one. “I also remember it feeling so different from anything I usually write,” she said, “which made it feel even more like a special message from Teri just to me.”
The digital storyteller for lululemon athletica, the women’s athletic company where Ciona works, designed a poster to illustrate the poem and posted it on the company’s blog. The poster was pinned, tumbled and tweeted across the interwebs, and people started sharing stories of their ‘crazy things’ with Ciona, and telling her how her poem inspired them.
Now, two years later, Ciona just launched thecrazything.com, a place to inspire people to find and do the crazy things on their hearts. “I see that the world will be made more wonderful by people discovering their passions and living fully into their wild and crazy dreams,” said Ciona.
Ciona told me over Skype that Do The Crazy Thing feels like it belongs as much to her mentor as to herself. When Teri passed away, even people who had never met her sent cards, because everyone in the community knew someone she had touched. Ciona hopes that through thecrazything.com, people she has never met will be touched by the same simple, profound words that Teri inspired in her: “Do the crazy thing.”
Ember Dreamers are members of the Ember community who are chasing inspiring dreams. Know someone we should feature? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.