the joy of darkness

Darkness as joy is not as surprising as you might think.  I recall discovering the beauty of Faure’s Requiem Mass and feeling like I had heard the sound of ecstasy or nirvana and I found myself embarrassed that i had a fondness the dark side of life.  I was relatively young when I discovered that the darker emotions had a kind of joy, or a kind of grace to them that the lighter emotions were missing.

So it does not surprise me to find that even now when my life is so full and so exciting that I still find darkness appealing to my sensitivities.  I am drawn to the bold ness of the the dark.  I feel warmed by the darkness in the same way that that I love the warm tones in a musical piece.  I like a poem by John Keats and I enjoy the colors of a sunset in winter when the sky is almost only midnight blue.

What is strange is that I still feel a need to apologize for this propensity.  I think I am strange to enjoy the night, but I love the evening as it stretches and yawns its way to a gentle repose.  Something about the darker registers that provide soothing, no harsh edges, no sharpness to cut into you…nothing jarring about the dark.

I am not going to pursue this idea any further because I hope that the photos have begun an essay of their own.  In a later post I will try to give a more thorough rendition of the joy of darkness.  In the mean time I would love to hear some feed back about these specific photos…

Thanks,   al d

today while the blossom still clings…..

today, while the blossom is still

clings to the vine, the rosa from its

green perch on  the shore

once again shines…

against the azure & blue of your

cove

it returns to its

roots…. and blossoms the whisper

that I am still alive…………

I am not sure if it is its

home or mine;

as i wander through the rocks

and the cliffs, in my mind,

i notice that

others less likely than I

find a home

near the sea while the sun begins

its summer time shine.

And as i recall from seasons and seasons,

i taste the strawberry & drink its sweet wine…

and thank the mysteries in life for

the gift it provides

along

with the pace and the rhythm and

rhymes of the time.

minding my business

Summer seems to have arrived early this year.   Actually we are having a gorgeous spring in the north-east.  Nevertheless, I am hearing a great deal of murmurs of discontent.  I am always amazed when despite some rather good conditions, folks seem to need a “noun” to be discontent about.  People, places and things seem to have a genuine capacity for fostering in we humans the idea that anything less than perfection is not acceptable.

In relationships we tend to want the good feeling thoughts to be predominant.  Of course, it is easy to feel good when we are feeling good–the trick, however, is to elevate ourselves to the state of feeling good even when things are not exactly going our way.  Once a bad-feeling state has set in it is most difficult to wrangle our way out.  In part this is because we enjoy or get some perverse gratification out of feeling ourselves to be the victim to the circumstances of our surroundings.

All discontent is within and in order to find our way to a meditative high we have to be first willing to give up the quality of being wronged.  This is not small task and although we frequently see it “advertised” in meditating circles, once you are away from the circle you soon grasp that life is difficult, it is certainly not always fair and we have to pick ourselves up and move forward regardless of the horror of our circumstances.

Even getting to this point in a conversation is relatively easy; but as soon as the next question arrives many of us are baffled.  How do we emerge from the deep darkness of a regression into our own narcissism?  After all is said and done, it is the center of our narcissism that gives us the greatest degree of trouble.   Here the answers are tricky because the egoic aspect of ourselves wants to protect us from uncovering our deepest and darkest fears.  Narcissism is nearly a location inside of us.  It is the particular set of hormones and neuro-trsnsmitters that light up on a cat scan when we are in profound stress.

Narcissism is a protected bubble inside the mental psyche that allows us to hide from what life wants from us.  To successfully emerge we can not blame our partners, BP oil, Wall Street, the encroaching neighbor or even the grouchy store clerk.  Of course, all these nouns can have had their impact on us, but it is up to us alone to wander our way out of the darkness and grab onto vitality in order to go on with life despite the horrible event which has just happened….

We generally do not want this to be true because if this is true we can not sit back and demand or wait for events to change.  We need to be the change that we want to see happen–to borrow a phrase from a very famous man.

Our task, when we are down and our is, “to-want-to-get-out” of the darkness that we have surrounded ourselves with as we hopelessly and helplessly descended into our own dirty guts.

I use to tell my patients this:  If you are walking down a pretty lane, minding your own business, admiring the beauty in nature, and a bicyclist come barrel-assing down the side walk, runs you over and keeps going; well, that was not fair, not right and it hurts–but, it is you and you alone that must pick your self up.  You must find a way back to your own vitality, or remain forever-knocked-down.

It is the best we have.

ambivalence

Sometimes ambivalence can be as dangerous as a bad decision.  I mean to sit and do nothing because of inertia can be as damaging to your goals and your desires as can making the wrong decision…I know that most of us can get stuck behind a plan that just is not working.  But to move forward without knowing which is the path less trodden can equally stop you in your tracks and cause you to be fearful of almost any change.

There are times in your life when a decision to move forward can be so frightening that the idea of staying wrapped in a blanket which lets in little light can, in the moment feel comforting…but, I assure you that no decision based on fear will certainly lead you to a despairing  condition whereas a wrong decision made in the light of day can probably be realigned and re tooled to aim for the well-being that we all ought to be aiming for.

Aim for good feelings, for a sense of vitality and it will not turn out wrong…

atunement

Bringing myself into an authentic alignment with my life is a more difficult task than one would initially expect.  First, when one hears of this need for balance and alignment it would seem that a few simple adjustment would be all that was needed.  That is not so. The reason it is so hard to get into attunement  has to do with the supremacy of the ego–that part of our mind that holds onto a picture of who we are.  The ego is the aspect of the mental structure that creates the persona–or, the picture of ourselves, the idea of who we are including the every present aspect that is the picture of how we would like others to see us.

Based on needing to maintain a connection with who we think we are, we abandon all sorts of pleasure-able and healthy experiences.  Based on the need to maintain a view of ourselves that is consistent with our ego ideal, we forfeit what we want in favor of what we think we should want.

Shoulditice, better know as inflammation of the “should s is a condition that prevents us from aiming for what we want and instead conditions us to aim for the little that we think we can get….

More later on the topic…..

en tittled

It seems to have been a blue day…even the sun is setting blue and gray

in the evening sky…

Blue days are always productive…The day started cold and a strong breeze became gusts of wind.  It is May but it feels like March up here in the northeast on our beautiful lake.  I want to go for a walk in the water.  I want a red and orange day, one of these non-productive days when I sit in the sun and become engaged in a book, or a painting.  I love life when I am easy going.  That does not happened as often as I would like.

There is a streak of shining red running through the deep blue clouds.