Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Into the Dark

Robert Frost once said, “Everything I’ve learned about life can be summarized in three words— it goes on.” Indeed it does and the turn of the calendar page to November is here to remind us: “Here I am again. Time to fly off to the National Orff Conference, as you have done every single year (except one—guess which?) since 1984. Time to bore or impress someone with remembering where each one was, accompanied by a significant event from that conference. Time to turn the clocks back. Time to order the Willie Bird. Etc. Etc.”


My second day back in San Francisco (though weirdly, back to the airport today to fly to Kansas City for above Conference) and two pretty good sleeps that should help with jet lag. Yesterday a day of catch-up work and errands, topped off by a walk through the park and feeling the turn of the year. The chilled air, the approaching Winter’s darkness.


When I turned my calendar page, the quote read:


“I will love the light because it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”  - Og Mandino


Good to remember the many faces of darkness. The first impulse carried from childhood is to be afraid of the dark, the glitter of eyes without bodies threatening us with unknown terrors. Yet we can also find a comfort in the darkness, a turning-in and sitting by the fire and cherishing human company in the home and hearth. And though it’s rare for me in this night-lit city, I treasure those rare moments of true dark when the canopy of the sky glitters with stars and reminds me that the world is so much more vast and mysterious than my small problems. That sense of being reduced to one’s proper size—infinitesimally small, yet a part of something infinitely wondrous. 


As yet unresolved issues between family members I love, the tension of the approaching Mid-terms, the ongoing terror in Iran, Ukraine and other places, all give off a darkness without the comfort of stars. May the light come down from the heavens and guide us onward to the life we can love. It will go on regardless of how much we love it and how well we live it, but let us hope we can move forward happier into the light and the dark. 


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