Archive for December 2009
Obviously, I didn’t take this photo. That said, it is one that I feel fits today’s post, the last one from Canada as I leave tomorrow morning for Costa Rica. I am holding my youngest grandson, the son of my son. Though he is a bit unhappy in this photo, most of our moments together during this Christmas season have been moments of smiling and curiosity. He doesn’t know it yet, but there will a long journey for him to follow, one that will have both tears and laughter, moments of both love and hate.
One of the images for the New Year that I have often seen is that of an old man passing on the light to a baby. In our real world, this passing of the light isn’t something that happens on one particular night, it is series of events that must be lived with intention on the part of the old man. The child watches, studies, and learns from what the old man lives.
This is my task, to live in a way that somehow gifts my grandson with a model of what is possible, something that can be drawn upon in the future when I am no more in the flesh, when I am a memory that lives on in my son and his son.
Just a little side note, we will be having a rare double blue moon on December 31st here in Saskatchewan, Canada as well as in many other places in the world. Happy New Year to all of you who read this blog.
With only two days left before my flight to Costa Rica, I am making sure that I have my fill of snow scenes. Again, like in the past, I have another look at the hills to the south, hills bathed in late afternoon sunshine. It was a cold moment with the temperature at -27C with a windchill in the -35C range. Strange how this temperature turns even white colours to various hues of blue.
We often think that we need heat to act as an alchemical forge. The polar opposite of heat is cold. The cold works to crystalize, to isolate and to purify in its own way. What light does appear is weak. This is a time for the rule of darkness. No wonder that depression assails the spirit, a creature of light. The alchemy of cold isn’t an alchemy of transformation, it’s an alchemy of insulation and isolation of heaviness.
This is the front of my home as taken a few days ago. Above the window is a “sun” facing south. The snow and the clear blue skies let you know that the sun is shining but that it is also not very warm (about -25 C.) at the time. In a few days, I will be flying south to spend three months in Costa Rica. Photos and posts will continue from there.
Update: I just want to add a note that there will be daily blog posts for each day (for the most part) as I continue to have Internet access. I will also be using the “Scheduling” feature of WordPress to ensure that there isn’t too long of a break between posts for those who have made visiting this site as part of their daily routines. Thanks for following my thoughts and adventures with a camera.
It was an opportunity that was seized, the presence of ice crystals glowing from nearby street lamps just at the edge of this prairie town at night. These ice crystals serve as an image of depression, a time when the psyche becomes cold and stiff – frozen. There is a story called the Snow Queen, a Hans Christian Andersen tale, that illustrates this concept.
It is not a coincidence that the darkness of winter brings on a period of depression for many people. Often this is written off as Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) but the truth is deeper than this simple answer. It is about a person’s soul needing light and heat for its continual transformation, an alchemical process. The ice crystals are representative of shards that pierce the heart and leave one numb with cold, almost transfixed as if locked in ice. There is a way out of this prison of ice, out of the depressive darkness. Have a read of the tale and perhaps it will show you the way.
I took a walk down the streets of our small town to show my grandchildren the Christmas lights. We walked pulling the little ones on circular sleds that became a source of excitement that soon turned everyone’s attention from the lights. But of course, I took advantage of the event to take photos such as this one where the snow blanketed the lights. The snow’s blanket transformed the lights into something surreal, a look at a different universe.
It surprises me how most people miss the presence of images that transport one to a different world. Perhaps it is part of being tuned to a sensate world with no room for what lies behind the factual images, sounds, and scents that hold the possibility of more than what meets the physical senses.
Children don’t seem to have this problem as they revel in the mystical and magical as if these were part of the natural world. It is only as they grow older that they abandon the myths and fairy tales for a practical world. It then becomes a world to be rediscovered in the second half of life when we begin to return to the source from which we came.
It’s interesting to see that the frost hasn’t stuck on the rails though everything else is coated with the morning hoar frost. Like the rail, the human psyche experiences the frost, and like the rail, the psyche goes forward through the frozen tundra on its way back into the light that is awareness.
I think that sometimes we get sidetracked with the outer world. We seem to get so enmeshed in being and doing, that we lose our way. We think that it is about surviving. For some, it is indeed about surviving. However, if you are reading this, physically surviving (food, water, shelter, war, etc.) is not really an issue. We only need so much stuff. Reaching and needing more becomes a different issue. Getting lost in inner space is not much different than getting lost in the outer world, lost in possessions or lost in sensations. Lost is lost.
So many avoid becoming more aware of themselves. There is fear, fear of what will emerge if they breach the walls so carefully constructed. The human soul wants more than stuff. It wants light, it wants to expand and embrace all that is self and other.
As you might guess, I am posting this before Christmas Day as I doubt that I will have time during the day for a post here. If all goes according to plan, my three children and their spouses as well as my six grandsons will be here for a few days of Christmas togetherness. I plan on taking a family photo for our photo wall sometime during the day and many other photos to capture the moments. I hope that you are able to find a moment or more of joy during the day. If you are without family, adopt someone for the day. Give and you will feel the real spirit of the day.