Glaring Dare

SummerHaze DvoraFreedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

In the midst of what glares

Too-hot stares

Reckless dares

Everywhere,

Find a moment to spare

Take a breath, be aware

Of the beauty

The air

And the hope

That we share

If we care

To embrace all that’s there

And declare

No despair

As we pledge

No warfare

And instead

Seek repair.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Glinting Sigh

Amsterdam4 InbarAsif

Amsterdam; Photo: Inbar Asif

 

As the light

Breathes the day

Into soon coming night

And the city spreads

Molten gold sighs

Of beauteous delight,

The sky paints

Warm reflections

Of the time just gone by

Onto glinting canals

Rocking calm lullabies.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Un-Hide

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Photo Credit: O.A.

 

You do not need to hide

Your pain

Your worry.

You do not need to stash away

The dreams

The stories.

You do not need to hold your tongue

Pretend away your feelings

Ignore what you already know,

Just to be

Someone you are not

For me

For show

For others.

You do not need to wrap parts of yourself

In secrecy

Or silence.

It is okay.

Un-hide.

I understand.

Even if some do not know, and

May need more time,

To see

How you’re the light

Within the deepest darkness.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Keep a light on

May you always keep a light on

In your heart

Your place of better knowing.

May you always keep a light on

Even when it may well seem

The only one

For miles around.

May you always keep a light on

To turn cold

Into warmth inviting

And isolation

Into welcome home.

Darkness and Light

light path

As the holiday season comes into swing (even if the weather on the East Coast has not gotten the memo…), I find myself thinking of the theme of light that permeates the season; and of the fears of darkness it hopes to overcome.

Someone noted to me–rather resentfully–how angry they are with the holiday season “hijacked by all this talk of fear and dark and hate and ugliness.” I was a bit surprised, because to me it was the opposite: This is probably the most apt time of year to face polarities of light and dark … Oh, it is a most difficult subject to approach and manage, but what can be more timely than doing so in the time of celebrating light and highlighting the survival or the birth of a religion? Or humanity’s perception of possible ongoing life?

So I think of the realities of shadows that too many are hell-bent on casting (either in advocacy of terror or in preaching overgeneralized fear and hate); and I think of the many lights that can chase those shadows away. I think of those who somehow gravitate more toward dark than illumination; and of the many who find light a far more satisfying source of power than adding to the pool of dark.

This year the battle between light and darkness may be especially evident, but the struggle has been then for eons; as did the valiant effort to shine light onto darkness and highlight life, not death.

This time of year, particularly.

The approach of the longest night has always been a time of worry and wariness. All through history, humans have found ways to combat it with light and celebrations, prayer and devotion, with reminders of the light-to-come and the reminiscing on the light that did return even after times of darkness. The miracle of light and hope and life.

Peoples the world over have some holiday of light around this time of year. Christianity itself ‘piggybacked’ onto existing holidays (and moved the celebration of the ‘birth of Christ’ from the summer, when Jesus was actually born, to near the Winter Solstice), to fill the need to note light and rebirth at the time of utmost darkness. People always needed to remind and rejoice the slow return of longer daylight and the promise of regrowth, spring, future harvests; life.

So … maybe it is not so strange that we are facing yet another battle of dark and light in this time of archetypical struggle between a sense of doom and a holding on to hope. There have probably always been those naysayers who predicted death, destruction, loss (or who hung the prevention of awfulness on penance and ‘sacrifices’). However, history itself also shows how humanity repeatedly–universally–found a way to hold light high and sparkle it abundantly. Cultures chased dark not with gloom but with sharing light, kindness, warmth, and celebration.

May we, too, remember that light will come. Is already on its way to coming. May we hold fast to the knowledge that the days will slowly overcome the night of soul and darkness will lose hold and weaken. We can hasten it with sharing our own light. With spreading kindness. With opening our hearts to those in need. With refusing to feed or amplify the darkness. Dark needs growth to spread, but light is never diminished when it is shared. We can help it grow by holding on not to fear, but hope.

Wishing you and all a season — a lifetime — of light.

light

On Summer Solstice and the balance of dark and light

summer solstics stone Ireland

As summer solstice arrives, I find myself wondering about the metaphoric increase of light and the ongoing balance of light and dark, the constant shifting from more of one to more of the other and the very brief points of apex on either. We are not meant to be static. Not the planet, not even within the same season–there is constant change. Even as summer formally begins, it begins the long path to the opposite.

Dark to me does not necessarily have the connotation of evil–though it can indeed also mean the absence of light on heart and soul levels–rather it often represents for me all that is hibernating, what is nascent and unborn, the things that await clarifying, the times of preparation, incubation, anticipation, hibernation, rest …

Dark carries in it the potential of enlightenment, the tender differentiation of color in pre-dawn, the realization of upcoming sunshine and the end of opaque unknown.

In the summer solstice, dark is at its shortest, but it is not eliminated, nor should it be. Without dark, there is no contrast. Without dark, it is difficult to find rest or space for incubating thought and creativity, for wonder and imagination, for small things needing sheltering still until they grow enough to face the light.

I am reminded of this as even in the longest day arrives, the path to increasing dark is already beginning–slow and steady from now to the winter solstice, a drop-by-drop addition to the night and its many potentials.

Don’t get me wrong, for all the sheltering potential of sapphire skies and starlit hours, I love long days. I adore the long twilight of summer evenings, the seemingly endless time to be outside in the sun. So much so that I remember wondering–as a child reading about another child’s life in Lapland–what it had to be like to live above the Arctic Circle in a summer of continuous light (only in the summer, please … the freezing cold is not something I am enamored with even considering …).

Someone I know swears by the healing properties of experiencing these dark-less days. She finds that it calibrates her body’s internal needs: she eats when hungry, sleeps when tired, works until the work is done. To her, a fortnight in the Arctic summer is a remedy for most that ails her.

Another friend who spent some of her childhood in Sweden told me that she loved it for the first two days then found it suffocating. “I’d hide under the bed and drape a blanket over the sides to get a place of darkness. I needed time to breathe some night. My brain wanted to rest.”

I can understand both the freedom that a time of continuous light allows, and the need for respite from it. For all the adoration of light–and I indeed adore it–there is the inherent balance of all things. Even my friend who prescribes Arctic summers makes time for breaks from productivity.

A sage woman once told me: “We all seek the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel itself has value in leading you to it.”

May this Summer Solstice become a day of balance for you. May it support your outward creativity and your inward incubation of new being and new doing. May it hold the hint of winter in the making–the cooling and the slower pace already forming.

Happy Summer Solstice to you.

And for all who celebrate it–also a Happy Father’s Day!

summer solstice mandala

From Pintrest: thisenchantedpixie.org