This evening I have to go to a governor’s meeting at my son’s school. I know that I will be tired when I return, so I will write what I can now. Maybe I will write some more when I get back. Maybe not.
….usually, I just begin by writing about what has happened to me during the day. And, from that, themes emerge. Sometimes I have been thinking consciously about the day’s theme and have, to some extent, planned in my head what I am going to write. Often, though, the theme is a surprise to me and it just kind of forms itself as I write. It is an intriguing process: the act of writing as a means of self exploration. It makes writing exciting for the writer. It makes writing addictive. The time spent writing is the best part of the day. A thrilling voyage into the unknown. It is not the kind of writing they encourage in schools. I think that is a pity.
On this occasion, I have had a theme hovering in the back of my mind for many days now. But the events of each day have led away from it. So, today, I want to address the theme directly. Examine it. See if I can bring it out of vagueness. Give it some form and definition.
The theme has to do with Balance. I began this Yule Calendar writing about Light. More recently I have been writing about Dark. Now I want to write about the Balance between Light and Dark.
We need Light. In all senses. We need Light in order to remain healthy. Too little Light and we become weighed down by life. Life becomes too heavy to endure. We lack energy. Light gives us energy. Not enough Light and we easily start to lose momentum, become depressed.
But, equally, we need the Dark. The Dark provides us with a place to rest. To look inward. To understand ourselves. Not enough Dark and we will burn ourselves out in the glare of the Light. Tearing around. Never stopping to ask ourselves “Why?” Dark gives us purpose. It is in the Dark that we discover our reasons for being.
Trouble is, Dark gets a bad press these days. We seem to have lost our appreciation of the Dark. Living in a culture obsessed by Light. We learn to banish Dark. It’s all too easy. Flick of the switch. Street lamps illuminate our nights. Fly over our towns and cities in the night and marvel at the vast network of light. Illuminated highways filled with the moving lights of vehicles. We put a huge amount of effort into denying the Dark. Some people even sleep with a light on. Afraid of the Dark. Because, somehow, in our culture, Darkness has become associated with Evil. Things go bump in the night. Things that are out to get you. Ghosts and werewolves and witches and vampires and demons and devils and all manner of bad shit. Be afraid. Keep quiet. Be pure. Be vigilant. Behave.
But Dark is Natural. Day fades and Night comes. To give way in turn to the dawn of a new Day. It is a Natural cycle. Balanced. Equal and opposite. Inseparable. Two sides of the same coin. A time to wake and a time to sleep. We need both. Try doing without either for any amount of time and your body will rebel – tell you to get some balance. So, why is our culture so anti-Dark?
I think that we need to encourage more people to experience the Dark in a positive way. To restore some balance. So, my gift today (and all this week) is an invitation.
On 21st December it will be the Winter Solstice. The longest night. The shortest day. A turning point. Where the balance shifts.
To mark and celebrate this significant point in the year, we will be holding an event at our house. It will be Outside. In the Dark. We will sit around a fire. Talk. Make music. Tell jokes. Be together.
WE will begin at 7pm and go on till late. You are all invited. We would love to see you if you can make it.