I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God.
~T. S. Eliot
This has not, historically, been my favorite time of year. I get really worried about ice and snow. I've been known to go into a manic frenzy of gift making, trying to ensure everything is Holiday Perfect. But as I share in this guest post on lovely Steph's blog, Creative Living Experiment, I think I'm starting to make my peace with the shorter days of December. I'm so honored to have been included in this series of reflections on the Solstice!
This week, as I was catching up on my Sun magazine reading (up to November, folks!), I had one of those perfect-thing-at-the-perfect-time moments reading an interview with Michael Meade. Holy moly! It totally knocked me out:
"When I was growing up, I liked big questions: What is life all about? Why are we here? Eventually I learned that the key question involves the meaning seeded within each individual life.
"Almost all cultures have the notion that there is a judgement when we die. Some kind of accounting has to be made of one's life. I believe God - and to me 'God' is just shorthand for the ineffable divine presence - has only one question for us at the end: 'Did you become yourself?' We have a seeded self that begins to germinate at birth. Our true goal in life is to become that self.
"There's an African proverb: 'When death finds you, may it find you alive.' Alive means living your own damn life, not the life that your parents wanted, or the life some cultural group or political party wanted, but the life that your own soul wants to live. That's the way to evaluate whether you are an authentic person or not."
Yes, yes, YES!!! Now we're talking. And the amazing thing is that when you read this, don't you know exactly what self he's talking about? Isn't this incredibly liberating? Perhaps you're already living that life, and if so, hooray for you - keep going. But for the rest of us who secretly know who we are, but still look to the outside world for approval and encouragement and thus are constantly thrown off the path, doesn't this just feel like the best manifesto ever? I can't tell you how inspired I am to live my own damn life:) Hell yeah! Now this, my friend, this is the God who is waiting for me in the dark.
If all of this rings your bell the same way it does mine, you might also enjoy these videos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Plus you get some Very Dramatic Music.
[Also, I just watched an amazing John O'Donohue video from Sounds True right along these lines. Can't help but share!]
Other good things rocking my December world have been this incredible episode of This American Life (continuing the theme of the listening adventure), which really basically cracked me open in the best possible way. Also, super excited to have received the first crate of our local Community Supported Art program. It includes five amazing pieces of artwork by local artists, including (delightfully enough) my totally fabulous dentist's son!