Beltane and the Moon of Sorrow
Friday gratefuls: Our loyal freezer, now needing aid. Crowhill Appliance coming to fix it. All the Animals, each one, who gave their body for our food. Exhaustion. A clue for rest. Seoah’s help with the freezer. Kate’s feeding tube, jevity, pump. Sjogren’s, that sneaky disease. Mussar on zoom. Bathroom humor. Our property. Dark dreams last night. Murder and body disposal. Betrayal. Coverups. Anguish. Winter.
Staring into the abyss. The USA. If you stare into the abyss long enough, Donald Trump looks back up at the you. It goes something like that. Doesn’t it?
Each year I want the Summer Solstice in the past. I want the darkness to begin asserting its dominion. I yearn for the time when the night takes up more hours in the day. Seeing in the dark is more important to me than seeing in the light. This year I need it more than ever.
A related desire, one unlikely to get find much relief here in the West, finds me hoping for rain, for thunder, for lightning, for long stretches of cloudy weather. As a Midwesterner, a flatlander, I could live into this sort of weather. Write. Read. Think.
No longer in the Middle West. I’m now in the West, past the 100th meridian which divides the humid East from the arid West. Fewer clouds. Significantly less precipitation. Lots of sunny, blue sky days.
The abyss and I are old friends. Maybe that’s why I value the dark and gloomy more than the bright and cheerful. There was that one evening, 1965, when I had an argument with Dad. I ran out of the house, down Garfield, across Canal, up the alley and into a dark swirling land of grief.
No, this is not about depression or lack of joy. It’s about a journey through, as Joseph Conrad put it, the heart of darkness. Life, the Mexica say, is a dream between a sleep and a sleep. Perhaps it is in our dreams that we wake up to the sleep world. It was, for the Mexica, the real world, this one being an illusion, maya.
Somehow I’ve found myself more drawn to this journey, this ancientrail, than the usual ones. My path follows Dante as he and Virgil head off from the dark woods into the depths of hell. Except where Dante and Virgil scramble up the massive head of Lucifer to reach purgatory on their way to heaven, I’m digging down, trying to find what he’s standing on.
An archaeology of the soul. Of course our soul moves toward the light, perhaps it even is light, the ohr, the shards of divinity shattered and spread out through all at the very beginning. I want to retain my soul, my shard of the light, but I want to know what came before the shard, the time of the ayn sof, the Endless One. I suspect that’s where Lucifer’s feet find purchase.
In that place, in the realm of what early Church Fathers called the Ineffable, in that place there may be the energy to transform my personal grief and the greater grief of our time.