Friday, 28 July 2017

Shadow Dancing at Lughnasadh

"Would that our endangered and dangerous days be remembered, years from now, as a time when some gathered and rose up and, truant no more, learned their lives. Th​en our learning together will begin to be tethered to something vast and thrilled​,​ and burdened with purpose."  Stephen Jenkinson. 

I have been dancing with shadows. The last of the July sun casts them strong and clear, they feel magical, small black doorways into another world entirely. A world of rarely glimpsed truths told boldly and brave but obscured by what we think we know.

Deep in the shadows is often where we are told the truth lies and often where we are most afraid to look.

But is the truth in the shadows really? Or is that very same truth often blazing, brazen in plain sight, but so much harder to see there - mostly, I suspect, because we simply don't want to see it. Do we ascribe the dwelling of truths to the shadows because we are more prepared to see them there, or because they are easier to ignore there?

 We say that doubt casts a shadow, and that it is in the shadows that our culture hides it's ugliest faces.

Our destruction of nature is baring it's poisonous fruits.  Mankind's destruction of nature, our destruction of nature. The sun here is very hot, the wind very very cold, there is no real ambient warmth most of the time.  This is not how an English July is supposed to be.

Be full of gratitude, if you are reading this then your life is honey sweet indeed in very many ways.

What shadow do you cast?  Where does it fall?  Do you block the sun from another?  Is there anything in that shadow that is not yourself?

In a dark time, the eye begins to see, 
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;   
I hear my echo in the echoing wood— 
A lord of nature weeping to a tree. 
I live between the heron and the wren,   
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den. 

What’s madness but nobility of soul 
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!   
I know the purity of pure despair, 
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.   
That place among the rocks—is it a cave,   
Or winding path? The edge is what I have. 

A steady storm of correspondences! 
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,   
And in broad day the midnight come again!   
A man goes far to find out what he is— 
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,   
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light. 

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.   
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,   
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I? 
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.   
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,   
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

By Theodore Roethke


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