I’m not big on the calendar new year. For me, the winter solstice and return of the light marks the turning of the year.
Last year, on the Solstice, Sharon Blackie, writer, psychologist and mystic had some interesting questions, one of which has stuck with me: “When all of the narratives that you cloak yourself with are stripped away, what is the essence of you which remains?”
I have spent the past few years examining my narratives and some of them have needed stripping away. But what they don’t tell you, is that when you strip away what is familiar, you can be left with a big hole. In the middle of last year, I wrote these words.
I am standing at the crossing.
There are not four, but eight or twelve
Or maybe more roads leading outward
From where I stand.
Each of them has a sign
That says nothing,
Not where I’ve been
Or where I’m going
Or even possibilities.
My own skin feels unfamiliar
My soul untethered,
My feet on a ground I don’t recognize.
I turn and I turn and I turn.
Which way back to where I was
Anchored in certainty,
A holy happiness
That was innocent
Of this unraveling.
Of course we want to be back to where we were…that “holy happiness” of innocence…what we called normal… but that old normal is not possible. Not even desirable. Because we have also been shown the inequalities. We have work to do.
The unraveling needs to happen. And if, at the crossing, we don’t know which way to go, we need to stand still. We need to pay attention.
What are the new narratives we need to build as individuals, as a culture and as a country? What new cloaks can we knit with what we have left after all of the unraveling?
It’s such a delight to see that you’re back to your Stella Sundays. Always a joy to read your carefully selected words.
Thanks Carol. It’s good to be writing again. And good to hear from you again!