I take photos.
It is an art.
It is a medicine.
I take photos of things that evoke or touch something in me.
I see something of myself in the light or shadow, the forms, the shapes, the deep felt sense that goes beyond all that.
Something elemental, beyond form is perceived. Things of heart, bone, cell, and soul.
I take photos of the world and in them I am seeing, knowing, offering myself.
That is what I give, what I receive.
Moving forward sometimes most needs standing still.
An easy thing for me to state.
An exceedingly difficult thing for me to do.
A constant hum of agitation, compulsion to action, there in the background.
The buzz of busy.
If I reach back before all that, education and domestication. There is something so real.
I could sit in the slow field all day. A little wild child.
The only buzzing was the bees
That was the most still and known I have ever been.
This part of the world is frozen today.
I went down to the river and saw how much of it was thick, only small pools still flowed.
Some large boot prints floated on top.
I paused at those man sized remnants.
Should I be afraid?
I shrugged it off.
Instead, thank you big footed boot wearer for letting me know I can go out on the ice.Take a walk on water.
I went out to the middle and stood there considering it all. Water that will soon flow, but for now was willing to hold me.
I noticed how still and quiet it was. The air was calm and windless. The cold bit at my face and fingers. A familiar loneliness, a sublime solitude, out here in the presence of a frozen for now place. It seemed as if the river and trees knew me, what I came with.
Out in the not far distance I could hear the intermittent work of a woodpecker echoing among the stoic trees. It struck me as eerie, haunting, beautiful.
I stayed there, in the middle of the river, a part of it for awhile.
We took the tree down yesterday. We removed all the ornaments and packed them into their boxes. The lights got pulled down and bundled. Stephen sawed the tree into pieces to make it easier to remove from the house. We gave the tree back to the forest.
When it was gone I felt the empty space, a shadow where there was, just minutes ago, bright light. I felt it within myself as well.
The guests all gone home. The quiet returning.
It was so cold outside, and I was heavy with this emptying, a dullness, an ache. I forgot to go out to greet the full moon and give her the reverence she inspires in me.
This morning we went out to walk the dogs. I turned my head to the left as we made our way to the right, and there she was, dangling down from heaven, incredibly large, floating among the trees, an angel.
My, how bright her light was shining.
And sparked in me a brightening too.
It is a new year today.
It is pushed upon us to be looking ahead, brightly, hopefully, and to set visions, plans, and intentions, resolute and serious, of doing and being better.
I sit here now and what rises from my depths is a resounding no.
That no belongs to me. I alone claim it.
Maybe you have a no rising as you read this.
My no tells me I do not have to do more, prove anything, or start out sprinting into this year towards a phantom finish line. I can be here in this day and claim my enoughness.
I do not need to be more or better than I am right now.
When I fully claim that, what rises from my depths is a resounding yes.
Sometimes it is vital to let one thing rest to fully engage in another.
My family has arrived to celebrate the holiday season.
So I am setting everything else down for these next days, to be fully in that.
The art of relationship.
The craft of being fully in an experience.
The skill of sitting in all the delight and tension of being in family.
When I let go of the notion that healing is about being fixed, restored to an unblemished state, scarless and pure, unbroken, then I feel that true healing is possible and available.
I have come to see how constructs of purity exist all around me, and around all of us, and how harmful and oppressive they are.
We are not pure, it is unobtainable. We can strive to be and do better, but purity is a ploy. It is a lie. Worst of all it is used to degrade ourselves and others. It tears us apart as individuals and collectives. It is a form of violence.
Purity dogmas are ruthless and unforgiving. They offer no redemption, only judgment, and punishment.
I embrace the path of being broken open, of being a wounded healer, the way of compassion, integrity, and love.
I welcome anyone to join me here. We all are included. We all are worthy.
I know one thing about light. It returns.
Today is the darkest day of the year.
I notice how I have followed the season. Embracing the dark. The way it leads me deeper in, to places worth knowing.
Darkness then becomes a welcoming. I do not transform it, it transforms me. It shows me what it really is. A place to land, not to escape from.
I can be here, and honor it, what it offers.
The light will return slowly, steadily. I welcome it too.
I see beauty. Intentionally.
I make a spiritual practice of it.
I adjust my eyes for it.
It is my faith.
It keeps me afloat.
It fills me with wonder.
To be here living in this beauty.
I am a part of it.
You are too.
That means a lot of different things.
Today I did laundry, vacuumed, mopped.
Tomorrow, more laundry and bathrooms.
I am getting my house extra clean for holiday guests. As much as I rail against it, I care what people think.
Coming clean. Owning all that I am, quite often a set of contradictions. I am coming to terms with that.
I am trying to do writing that comes clean.
I am an addict. I use various things. Addiction is not about the thing I am using it is about what I am numbing, what I am escaping.
That is step one in getting clean.