Sunday, December 9, 2018

This Year's Subscription has Almost Expired, But I Plan to Renew

I’m writing this on the kitchen table while PQ paints on the other side. Outside the sun is setting and the bare dark branches contrast against a silver blue sky. Everything is grey and white out there, but the skeletons of trees and bushes reveal their fractal beauty. I love summer, but this is beauty in repose. Much of the winter world lives in secret.

The final time of the year is a transition from one life cycle to another. Winter is the darkest, coldest and most hidden time of the year. We celebrate for the birth of a new beginning in the form of the coming yearly cycle of seasons. Hope for this renewal of life was the purpose of the winter solstice celebration of our ancestors, now diminished to partying and obligatory gifts, and was full of color, light and flavor to show faith that Mother Earth would wake up gain. It was then appropriated by the young Christian church, which was also based on death and rebirth. For me, renewal is the essence of Christmas including the week before the New Year’s birth. We all hope it is a kind of rebirth of our hopes and dreams, and another chance at doing better. This is the thought behind the tradition of New Year’s resolutions, something I never do. However, I do reflect on the meaning of the previous year and attempt to understand its influence on life, which automatically morphs into thoughts of the future.
I painted this some time ago
but it seems appropriate

As I write PQ is working on a new pen drawing. This is a media he made his own this year. Each one is better than the previous one (or so it seems to me). He continues to paint jackets and recently designed a logo printed on T-shirts for a men’s club in California. I on the other hand, have only finished two new paintings this year, while distracted with the mundane duties of life my artistic imagination hasn’t had much time to flower. Having said that, I suspect that there is a deeper personal change that exists as a bud preparing to flower. There are winters of many kinds and I’m awaiting an artistic spring.

The heart beats of the cosmos as well as the natural and supernatural breaths of life come on many frequencies. From the highest that we can’t hear to the lowest that we also can’t hear. This fact encourages me not to become too concerned with the down times before Mother Earth’s next breath and heartbeat, these will always come even if within a great age by our miniature human reckoning. Unexpected disruptions and political discord have occupied the mainstream consciousness this past year. Simply put, there are seasons within seasons and sometimes the historic outer seasons of winter are very long indeed, but we must remember that even in the dead of winter there are interruptions of mild and sunny days.

I look back on my worst days and realize that they were responsible for pushing me through the shell of one limiting reality after another. Sometimes the broken shell held a mental construct, sometimes an emotional expectation or dearest hope and a few times many layers came down at once. I could feel persecuted by God and fate, and sometimes I did, but finally there was a new and enhanced world on the other side of the shattered shell that I once mistook for reality.
We too often look at unexpected problems and failures as the demise of happiness. On a national and world stage no one could argue that there is disarray, destruction, wrong headedness and a great deal of suffering.

This past year, I’ve become aware that the cosmos and our world is something of a seesaw ride. One aspect of life goes up while another goes down. One great breakthrough also brings along with it, problems that no one anticipated. Too much sugar is toxic and so is too much protein. Balance is a challenge for every change. Positive and negative are inseparable. We can regret it, fight it, bury our heads in the sand and ignore it but it is inescapable. In fact, the bond of opposites seems to fuel the engine of creation.

Balance is a goal of life and and the source of beauty, but it is always in process and movement challenges balance with each step. We live in a world and cosmos that instead of having once been created is forever in the process of creation and we as little atoms in the great cosmic body are also in creation. By the way atoms don’t die, but they can rearange. That’s among the reasons I believe in reincarnation. There are others as well, but I’ll save that for another time. Now the sun is setting, and darkness is taking over. Just remember that the sun will rise again. This is the dynamic message of Christmas.

“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Have a wonderful Christmas and transition to a New Year of inner peace.