29 December, 2011
i get it now. how i can hold darkness and also share my own oxygen with the flames. i have favored the clouds and the watery places. it has always felt easier to go to the intense and the weighted. the levity seemed intangible and shallow. i placed value on my ability to be with the hard, the heavy, the disparate. and secretly, I was curiously envious of the light and the buoyant. the ones who seemed to float.
this solstice, this birthday, the past two months, i have been mining a new language. crumbling away at words and ways that felt rigid, blaming, and fierce. hacksaws and fighting parables just don’t work for me anymore. i don’t want to kick ass or WORK on my spirit. i don’t want to suffer for my freedom. i am not afraid of the dark– i have spent most of my life there. it’s that now i realize that i am one of those that may be more afraid of maintaining the light.
i think i have confused depth with despair. i know how to talk about shadows and twisted feelings and pain. i’m really good at being with these things, and i am grateful that i have this to offer the world, for clearly there is no shortage of suffering among us. but how to speak of the depth of rightness and ease? how to speak about ok?
where i am at right now is trying to translate and embody this new place of gratitude, wellness and peace, that is still capable of being with the darkness that i know so well. i want to create a language that is gentle and easeful. for so long, perhaps always, i wanted to have the shadow lifted off–the weight and the inner chaos. and now that i am experiencing this, i kind of don’t know how to be. i don’t know how to talk about this. it hasn’t been my way to speak of rapture and glory. i know much better how to speak to insecurity and involution.
and so i am once again in uncharted waters. and letting go of the fear of doing it wrong–especially when it comes to matters of love and the alchemy of grace and god. i am writing my own mantras, building my own fires, praying in my car and on my knees. i get the ecstasy of the simplest things now. and i appreciate the many offerings i see toward the cultivation of joy in the world. i am allowing myself to be loved. and offering my smile more readily. i’m curious about how the next year will unfold, excited and not concerned.
this is new territory as i move another year into my fourth decade. it feels like this is where faith and fear meet, with kindness, embodied and whole.
Vague as this definition may be, I believe most people are aware of periods in their lives when they seem to be “in grace” and other periods when they feel “out of grace,” even though they may use different words to describe these states. ~ Anne Morrow Lindberg, from Gift from the Sea
photo: solo sunrise mission. 41st birthday, winter solstice. december 2011.