The summer is starting to wind down and my favorite time of year is just around the corner. Autumn. The Season of the Soul. At least that’s the way it feels to me as I stand on that Autumnal precipice (equinox) each year. It seems as if my personality is one that lives in eternal Autumn. It can be beautiful there, but it can also be depressing and scary, full of grief for a million different reasons. But whichever way my moodlings swing, it always makes me feel alive. Like a candle flame just before it goes out…
I watch as the smoke
from looming extinction
rises from the altar candle
on my writing desk,
its blue and white-yellow flame
suddenly glowing hot and tall
as if reaching to heaven
in final supplication,
then silently, calmly
pulling within itself
and gently fading away.
I hope my last farewell
will be half as graceful.
© Cheryl D. Carter
This was a lovely response to one of my struggling moments a year ago. I read it often because it makes me feel not alone. I think it’s how we should all be with each other…
A note to a friend in Grief
This was written some months ago to a friend. We were talking about the ancient winter-time celebrations and the mysterious allure some of us feel about them. I thought that I would publish this in the hope it might be an encouragement to someone who is waiting for a new word to be spoken into their Soul.
The darkness makes the light seem so much brighter. So to are your words are more poignant in the backdrop of your soul’s true grief. Our culture has an aversion to darkness with our well lit homes and cities. It seems we move robot-like through our celebrations in a most shallow disconnected fashion. True there is an occasional tingle that passes for living in our world of artificial light, but it seldom if ever reaches deep down into our core. The experiences which spawned those celebrations were birthed in a world of real darkness and death and fear. It was an ancient time. A time before the gods were cartoons or trapped in stained glass. There was not the luxury of half measures. There was only life or death, survival or not. Joy and grief mingled in a moment, profound and alive. Our culture promotes half life, a falseness that disconnects us from ourselves. Sometimes our grief is merely our Soul’s longing for that which ought to be. And it calls us out of our walking sleep toward and into our more true habitation. It feels like death, for it is. The death to the transient and fleeting so that the eternal might be born anew.
So, my Friend, I would not wish the darkness away from you or attempt to artificially prop you up at this time as though you were weak and unworthy. But, I will sit with you in this dark place and tell stories and share nourishment and heat. Perhaps your Soul has brought you here to answer the unspoken desire of your heart, to know, to experience the true celebration in all its passion and fear and grief and joy. That you might join in the dance your heart has always known must exist. You are a true seeker and your search has brought you to this place. It is no mistake or misstep that has led you here. It is necessary to know the dark if one would truly celebrate the light. Sometimes words and action merely serve to hide a thing, where silent stillness can reveal it.
Plus one can see the stars so much better in the darkness 🙂 Love, honor, and respect are your due. You are my friend and I am yours.
(Her response) Plato…If its dark we will just sit and look at the stars. No artificial light is required. Thank you for passing on the primeval torch. It’s so important to pay it forward. An old ideology and a new… They blend together so beautifully.
In response to Autumn: Time of Grief, Time of Hope