Last night I had the joy of spending several hours with a dear friend and wise woman, Yvette Murrell (for soul-driven facilitation, circle-keeping, coaching, and divine guidance readings, check her out here). Having not seen each other in months, conversation spanned the spectrum of our lives: life work, heart work, sweet and mundane and profound things. I wrote this poem in wake of talking about the upcoming Solstice, and how so often observations of the this holy day focus on the return of the Light. The Light is good and worth longing for, and sure feels better on the body than these cold wet long nights of PNW winter!
But do we rush too quickly out of darkness? What about the Darkness as womb space, creative space, resting space, unknown space? What about Darkness as that which we have shunned, disenfanchised, disowned (in our own souls, and in our world)? We want to have a longer conversation about this (stay tuned!) But in the meanwhile, I share these words inspired by our mutual work and musings. I want to credit Yvette in particular for the racial implications of darkness-phobia. Deep gratitude to you, Yvette, for your friendship and collaboration that inspired this piece.
I have sought and searched for Light.
I have scraped and scrounged and sacrificed and and sold all I have.
I have sprinted, lungs bursting and trudged, bent-backed
Always towards the Light.
And in the moments when I peered into the pond
And saw my face luminous from within
it was worth it, all worth it.
And in the moments when I peered into the world
And saw the seagulls and the skateboarder and the ginkgo trees
Luminous from within
It was entirely worth it.
And I would give away all my things again, my body, my soul
For just one more glimpse of my precious, my Light.
Many more days, however, I am swimming in violet remembrance
My skin sticky with ordinariness—on a good day
And otherwise, heavy with the heart-winter’s blanket
Or itchy with longing to dissipate into stardust and leave behind
what I hope no one can see
What I have learned not to see myself:
Those inky caverns where the shame-ghosts dwell, the doubt-ghasts,
the long-fingered stingy meannesses the scratch on the bedrock and moan:
If i could only be more…if I could only be less…I do not know…do not know how…
Is it not yet an acceptable time…? I never…
No. Seek the face of the Lord, the North Star, the Sky-bound Bliss and do not look back.
But now and then, a shadow flickers, pulls my gaze back over my shoulder
where I have trained myself never to look.
A shadow sent from someplace deeper than the doubt-ghast’s hole
An underground ocean stirs and I wonder a thought not my own:
What have I lost from the Darkness in my feverish pursuit of the Light?
I would wonder with the ones who know:
The wombed ones who linger, sitting on stones
Listening to an inner blood-rhythm that only they can hear
The babes being squeezed into being through God’s wide smiling yoni,
the dying ones returning to her bosom.
The seed-planters who rest and dream and plan, Solstice to Equinox
The ones who live through endurance, who rally and resist and live with Basta on their lips
and seven generations in their hearts.
The ones whose darkness is turned against them by me and my pale-skinned ancestors
Because it is not a far leap from Light-worship to White-worship
From fearing and denying darkness to fearing and denying Blackness.
Darkness is depth and breadth
It is sedimentary, vision upon vision
It is the underwater caverns and the coil of deep space
It is empty and full at the same time, the Pregnant Void
It is unresolved potential, discomfort that leads to revelation
It is the unseen face of the Beloved,
The Vast Ocean of Love Herself, from which the waves of Creation crest.
If the Light is All That Is, the Darkness is That From Which All That Is Arises
Those who know more than I, they say as I strain to listen:
When your addiction to Light leaves you high but hallow
Follow the darkness for a time.
There are clues there unseen in the Light,
a delicate trail of crumbs back to your Wholeness.
Blessings from the Dark, to all your Dark places,