It is a source of amazement to me how much difference a year can make in how we relate to the world about us, our friends, and those we hold in close and intimate regard. As I sit at the computer and watch the darkness invade the city at 4:30 p.m., I feel like some lonely wanderer at Stonehenge waiting for winter solstice. This darkness is a source for melancholy and in some instances, despair. What a difference a year makes.
At this same point last year, winter solstice was a cause for hope and inspiration. I was bolstered by a new energy which countered my usual dismal December demeanor. That new energy came from connecting with friends who created an open space for sharing and collaborating that was new to me. Solstice was discovery... the anticipation of light... a rebirth and renaissance.
This solstice awakening took me to new places of awareness and energized my thinking and creative ideas. It was more than a revival, it was the birth of a new sensibility, an intense consciousness that filled the silence with ineffable beauty infused with radiance. These inspirations were concretized into new work. There was a sense of invincibility about this aura that embraced me so completely. Nothing was impossible. Every manifestation was effortless. I felt that everyone around me was imbued with imagination, energy, and a zest for life. My own world was enriched by the interpenetration of overlapping spheres of energy and vision. Every moment led to new expression, new destinations, new accomplishments.
But that was then. Now in these bleak December days approaching the longest night, I find myself visited by the demons of despair. Something tells me that this is a necessary plunge into "the jaws of darkness," the acherontic abyss of inevitable emptiness. It is not the silence. Silence is beautiful. This dark emptiness is sinister and hideous. This darkness is the oppressive anguish of sorrow and despair. The sorrow stems from the unspeakable regret that all of us must suffer through the limits of our humanity although we glimpse the hem of something astonishing and full of wonder just beyond our grasp. The despair is beyond all sighing. Its heaviness is paralyzing, debilitating.
But in the midst of this destructive descent, I sense outstretched arms and and life-lines flung from those who share the journey... who whisper that despite all appearances, you are not alone. Of course I realize this is the fiction of hope. Objectivity tells me to lie down and die. It isn't that those who included me last year have gone on to other things and left me alone. It is that I have somehow blindly abandoned the interior paths of discovery that others helped illuminate.
But there is this moment of intense night which seemingly has extinguished the light.... there is this infinite moment of darkness when I realize that the darkness is only a shadow. Light envelops the darkness, defines itself through the eloquence of its presence. In the precise moment of winter solstice, I listen to the night giving birth to some new possibility. The dawn that awaits is unique and unlike any other. That is the lesson of the cycles of infinity. All repetition is fiction. Only new moments exist, arcing inexorably through conscious awareness. We are not the repetition of the past. We are not the repetitions of ourselves.