- Snow Woman, photo © 2005 Dea Kowalczyk. All rights reserved.
In This Issue
Winter's Broken Heart
This was going to be the second part of the essay considering the Dianic Sufi, but as winter begins to rise from the death of fall, I find myself succumbing to a greater power, a power outside myself. My writing becomes a fable in the voice of a storyteller rather than the usual intellectual esoteric investigation. My column becomes a reflection on the power of hope in the darkness and the guarantee of change in the cycle of the seasons.
As we settle in the darkness, across the planet cultures battle with the primordial fear of endless darkness, the fear of solar abandonment. People from all races build monuments and hold rituals, offering the eye of the sleepy winter sun a place to reflect her beauty and guide her back once again to the place of glory at the top of the sky. This has been true from the time of the mysterious cultures of prehistory to the commercial glory of the modern American Christmas.
We celebrate Yule with fire; it is a celebration of both the light and the dark. It is recognition of the pending change, of the inevitable ebb and flow. Although we can expect the Goddess to show up in all her manifestations and conditions throughout the year, we cannot predict the behavior of each season. The seasons exist in both our inner and our outer lives. As the earth freezes and the days begin to lengthen, we can expect to experience the full range of winter emotions, each with their own flavor and potential expectations. We cannot predict how our response to them will materialize in our daily lives.
When winter shows up in our personal lives, we often experience the darkness as depression, combined with a sense of being stuck, and hopelessness. Anyone who experiences this touches that deep fear of perpetual darkness, beyond any situational implications. There is something inherent in darkness that seduces this fear and blocks us from finding comfort in the certainty of change. The question becomes how can we embrace this darkness, how long can we tolerate the loss of light. Every winter has its midpoint; every winter has a solstice. Like the seasons, this Solstice inevitably comes when we surrender to the darkness beyond the dark and find hope, the source of the magic required to manifest creation.
It is ironic ... the things we fear the most hold the secrets we desperately seek. We find our answers hidden in the willingness to be hopeless. We find movement in the worn-in comfort of being stuck. In the darkness, the smallest light becomes a beacon; it becomes a beacon leading the way to change we eagerly resist. May you find hope and power in the darkness. May my little story bring you grace enough to embrace a broken heart.
Breaking my Heart Again
She longs to feel alive, she prays for clarity and guidance. She prays for vision beyond her fears, beyond the situational complications.
"To Thine own Self be True," is a carving in stone above the ancient temple doors. In these days of virtual reality, she needs access to a spiritual search engine, a search engine with a personalized database and an up-to-date driver. She doubts the capabilities of her original issue (somewhat unusual) operating system.
She makes herself wait for something to change, not caring if it's something inside herself or something in the shadow of her circumstances. Beyond hope or faith or fortitude, she waits. Impatient and exhausted she waits, flicks the channels, looking for a sign on late-night TV
Do you want to lose weight?
YOU, flicking the remote control, YES YOU;
I'm talking to you. STOP, stay tuned and we promise to show you something
guaranteed to solve all these problems and more. Something guaranteed
to change your life; surefire ways to change how others see you and even
alter how you think about yourself.
If we choose you to become unemployed, you'll
receive a full six months of unemployment benefits for the first year.
This will be followed by eligibility for food bank memberships and for
the lucky few ... there is also the potential for food stamps. This food
plan can get better results for your children's obesity than Atkins or
any Beach diet.
Teetering on the edge of resignation and revolution,
resistance and submission, she prays for clarity. The wind of change blows
at her back and the fire of transformation flickers at her feet, she feels
deep inside her heart, beyond the numbness. Teetering on the edge of a
crumbling cliff, she prays for clarity and courage, steps down from the
couch and balances her bank statement. She prays for forgiveness, prays
to be safe once again in the arms of the Mother. She makes a cup of tea,
writes a list of her passions, her dreams, and hopes to remember what
it means to be of service.
She knows she has to leave the place that offers the most comforts of home. She knows she has to leave now, because she recognizes the price is rising higher than she is willing or able to pay.
She drives away through teared vision, she reminds herself of her promise to serve - reminds herself a promise always remains intact beyond separation. Traveling with new gifts and tools, she will eventually build a new home for her dreams, her passions and freshly beaten red clay. Regardless of her final destination, there are millions of ways to be of service to the beauty in the day-to-day.
The postcard arrives before her family has time
to forget to remember the child they thought was lost. In bold brightly
colored print it says:
family and friends;
With clarity and intrepid direction, she celebrates being alive. Her visionary prayers manifest a world where fear becomes excitement, change the promise of a life well lived. Her heart holds a peace unfettered by the complications of her revolutionized situation.
Within winter's broken heart, she has found
the promise of spring.