Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Each that we lose takes part of us;
A crescent still abides,
Which like the moon, some turbid night,
Is summoned by the tides.

Emily Dickinson

Thomas Moore says that the special language of a dark night is poetry. That is surely why many special selections of music have always been so important and such inspiration to me at difficult times in my life. He says that the following secret is generally hidden from modern people and sometimes learned in a dark night, and it is "the truth of things can only be expressed aesthetically--in story, picture, film, dance, and music. Only when ideas are poetic to they reach the depths and express reality."

Ralph Waldo Emerson in "The Poet" said that the poet "stands one step nearer to things" and "turns the world to glass." Here I am teaching English literature and composition to sixth graders and it can be so enjoyable. I get to teach poetry and read wonderful novels such as, The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963, which is a wonderful work of historical fiction with a backdrop of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing which killed four little girls. Which is not why I am writing this post. I went to work today at 6:30 and got home at 5:30 and I am a bit delirious at this point, so forgive me. Speaking in story and images makes writing richer and more meaningful. "Poetic language allows for a deeper imagination of who you are and what you are going through," and as Thomas Moore says, "The usual way of talking is heroic....speaking of progress, growth, and success." Psychology and even religion often, "avoids the dark by hiding behind platitudes and false assurances." I agree when he says, "if you turn to spirituality to find only a positive and wholesome attitude, you are using spirituality to avoid life's dark beauty." What we need and can possibly achieve is an intelligence about our lives.

Well, I guess this all connects for me. It may not for you and that is OK! Not that I would choose a dark night, but there is a "special beauty" to be seen and "poetry is sea-language."

I am certain of nothing but
the holiness of the Heart's affections
and the truth of the imagination.
John Keats

Oh yes, listen to windmills from my music player on my side bar.....PERFECT!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Time Stand Still

Wow! My first post in many months and I have only begun to think about why I haven't written. I am not even ready to really, truly express it. I only know that for 16 months or so a powerful, spiritual experience gripped my life and made it impossible not to see some very amazing, sad, meaningful, dark, light, deep and penetrating things. Now, as that experience has slipped away, I find myself in a kind of even darker void.

I know I'm tired of the answers that were so definitively thrown at me, and I abhor the notion that somehow everything will always end up perfect because of a supreme being that, depending on our ability or goodness, will sometimes rescue the miners of this Earth and sometimes won't! I know some would say it is my failure that I don't feel simply wonderful. (By the way, I do feel ok at times.) The truth is that I am ignorant.....I don't understand, and I fear the judgement of people who look down on those in a Night Sea Journey!

A night sea journey would not be a night sea journey if it ended quickly. It is by nature a long lasting "rupture" to use Thomas Moore's words "in your very being." Most people want you to be OK, so in turn they can feel OK, and thus life and it's gifts are avoided. I think most religion has at least some element of this avoidance, which prevents experience and growth. Just like the alcoholic that must be able to stand and say, Hi my name is_____. I am an alcoholic, a dark night "pares life down to the bare essentials and helps you to get a new start." The alcoholic, now no longer in denial, has freedom to explore the depths of themselves that would not be possible in denial. The dark night may never be truly over, and as TM says, "its contributions may be what it does for others and not what it does for you!"

Dark nights may not always end happily, but that doesn't mean it didn't have value along the journey. So be careful in negative judgement of people who have entered this other-worldly place, where opportunity exists for transformation to some degree. Sometimes life requires us to go deep in a place that is not full of that religious bright light, but instead takes you to less illuminated places.

I heard this song this morning and it has reverberations (maybe) of that journey on the sea.
The video sucks, but then again Rush was, and is about the music! Remember these are my stream of consciousness ramblings and not any form of declaration of knowing much of anything!