Saturday, March 07, 2009

Looking Before Leaping Forward

detail of The Morrigan: the Dark Mother
I recently finished the painting "The Morrigan: the Dark Mother", which is a mediation on the roles that darkness, death, the end of things, etc. plays in our lives. (A detail of it is seen here. )
And as signals of Spring begin to make its appearance, I feel the need to pause and consider the dark of Winter as it begins to pass.

I think our society often shrugs off the dark times too quickly, thinking it is a bad thing. It can be uncomfortable, but the dark is not bad. I can think of many places in nature where the dark plays a regular, if not, important role: things such as sleep, night, the moon moving from dark to full and over again. If we look to the cosmos, we find that most of space is made of what is called "dark matter".

The dark times offer reflection of past action and future possibilities. So much of my creative progress leaps forward tremendously after a period immersed in darkness. But, this growth only comes when I allow myself to really be in the dark, no matter how uncomfortable it might be. I think when we leap forward to escape the discomfort of the dark, we increase our chances of landing in a worse situation. Sometimes the situation requires quick action, and we are lucky and land in a better place. But, I believe most of the time, hurrying out of the dark, only limits the awareness of our situation and delays the suffering that comes for not learning the important lessons.

So, as we turn our clocks forward, or prepare for the season's change from winter to spring. I am taking a moment to thank winter--the dark time--for the opportunity to work through life's challenges by giving me time to focus and reflect. Spring comes, bringing new energy and respite from the dark time, but it is only temporary, for soon enough, Winter takes us back into her arms for another season of rest and reflection.

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