18 February 2014

What A Little Sunlight Can Do To You

The sky is blue. The sun is shining. I'm on the back porch without gloves or scarf. And sometime in the next hour or so, Girl Scout cookies will be delivered to my door.

It's been a rough Winter in many ways. Harsh realities have abounded, reminders of the vulnerability and limitations of the Human Condition.

I've found it difficult to write and given up trying.

The beautiful weather today offers a renewal of spirit...and a reminder of the transience of all things.  Seasons of cold weather, depleted bank accounts, grief, loss. They present and cycle through and are replaced by balmy sunlit days and new opportunities and birth.

Artist:  Adam Wicinski, "Light & Shadow Study XX"
Seasons of Light and seasons of Shadow. Inextricably bound. Interdependent:  each defined by the existence of the other.

I Google "light and shadow" and the search results bring Haruki Murakami into view again. He writes:

“Where there is light, there must be shadow, where there is shadow there must be light. There is no shadow without light and no light without shadow....

Like everybody else, in the grips of cold winter or dark days, I wish for warmth and light. I want things to be different. In the relentlessly even climate of northern CA I yearned for lightning and thunder and scorching heat. 

There's no error in this tendency to yearn. To abandon the here and now to dream of something different. It's just the way we are. 

It is also good to remember

This storm, this darkness, this Light:  they are seasons of Life.  Things change and change us as they do. Resistance or denial of the inherent mutability of existence is, as the Borg insists, "futile."

Where I mean to place focus is on the practice of maintaining awareness, of willingly bearing witness to our Lives...and the changes...and the cycles. I call it "Staying Awake" and it partners with "sojourn" and "improvisation" in my mind.  Each place of cold or dark or light or warmth is a site of sojourn, for body and mind; they will not last forever; we will only be there for awhile. In each site, we make it up as we go along. We stay awake and respond, interact, react; initiate, manipulate, attempt, .... 

I continue to suffer the barrage of happiness encouragement I find in my Facebook news feed. Those friends who are most enamored of contributing these posts that advocate unbridled joy and unending positivity, comprised of scenes of gorgeous sunsets or startlingly brilliant Photo-Shopped  bouquets accompanying words written by someone else, are sequestered in a cyber group I call "Happy Happy" so I don't have to look at them until I want to. (Some of this group are also filed under "Prolifics.")

Yesterday I found the following post in the "Prolifics" group:

...to which I added the Comment:

Alex Mercedes Better days are here!
I appreciated the two "Likes" the Comment received. This affirmation, like many others, seems in that vein of wishing things weren't the way they are.
Things are the way they are. A "better day" may never come or it may come after we're gone.  
We have this day. The only day we have for sure. And it has the shape it has. What's happening is happening and we are here in it. Being changed by it and impacting it.  

The practice is not about wishing for a "better day" and it is not about learning not to wish for "a better day." It's about staying awake:  to our wishing, as well as the reality that we're wishing to escape. It's about an Awareness of the eternity within which wishing and not wishing, light and dark, Winter and Spring and all the other dualities....and all the space between and beyond dualities exist.

The sun is low in the western sky now. I haven't spent this much time writing in a long time. Ooooh, ooooh, ooooh....what a little sunlight can do to me.