Of sadness and light

  • Posted on August 31, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Only a few times in my life have I reached the very depths of sadness. Today I’m distinguishing it from grief. Grief is loss and coming to terms – a process. Sadness is not always loss; rather it is when the mismatch between what you hope at your best has no bearing on how life presents itself to you. But somehow it is drained by expressing it. You can fill and empty all over again, of course, but somehow it gets flushed out by glimmers of hope, as if the sadness is darkness and hope is light. And yes, you can get to like sadness as an attractor for sympathy, and refuse the light, but light overcomes darkness in a way darkness can never overcome light.

A glimmer reminded me in my deepest sadness, and it was enough for me to see what I must do, what I could hope, and what I must trust for as an outcome in a dark place.

I thought today that if I were to have written my story as it really began to take form eighteen months ago, I would not have believed it. I wouldn’t have welcomed it either because of that. And if I wrote it now, a lot of people would say I had idealised it, shortened it to make it fit, that it wasn’t quite real enough. I have often said I have been incredibly lucky. A lot of people say I have shown a lot of courage. Maybe neither is true. As it happens I am atheist with a strong belief that this life is connected with all life outside of this time scheme, and that sometimes things work well here, that people meet here, because of that connection and the coherence of all life. I don’t find a reason or grand purpose, and I don’t find destiny; I just find the connection, the absence of clear boundaries. Quite a mess of thought really, with tinges of Buddhism and Bohm&#8217s implicate order. I must read more about both and much in between.

And so it is that I have sometimes remarked that it has been as if someone were holding my hand. And that if there is any purpose at all in my deepest sadness, it must be because someone, somewhere, needs me to be free again, so that I can give myself freely once more. That someone needs the kind of love I can give, and needs it to be freely available. It’s the end of giving that hurts most right now, and for now I must learn that profound giving is too precious to be assumed as to where it is needed.

Every step along my eighteen-month journey thus far has been a falling into place, and every time I have held a fear of the impossibility of the next step, my foot has found firm ground. It isn’t so for everyone, and it isn’t because I’m thick skinned, wealthy, connected or anything else. It is just the way it has been for me. It is time to step forward now in this new way of life, and to stop feeling anything is happening to me. Nothing has happened to me thus far, I have simply responded as best I could to each prompting for the next step. And my sadness has been at times simply due to taking too long a pause to look back, or fearing some sword of Damocles will cut yet more away. You know those moments in films, as when our hero stops and looks back in their escape and you are screaming at them ‘No! Move on while you can! The bridge is about to collapse!’ The best action is positive, decisive and owned.

I am responsible for my life. Where I am now is entirely my responsibility. So too is where I am next. And no, I am not running away from anything, only towards where the next coming-together will be.

Is someone holding my hand? Well, maybe that’s too individual and personal for what I really mean. But it would be nice to know! Because some things ahead of me seem like dark and very lonely spaces where I must first go before I find out where it leads. My image is the cave diver who must head into a dark narrow passageway full of water, and the only way is through. No turning, rising, pausing, room for one only, until the crystal cavern is lit by their lamp as they emerge, relieved but completely awed.

Right now I am diving and holding my breath.


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2 Comments on Of sadness and light

  1. blended808 says:

    Question is, do you really want your hand to be held? Some experiences are best served in the sanctity of one’s own heart place, like being in the quiet solitude of a sacred sanctuary, a forest glen, or atop a mountain peak, anticipating a sunrise in the wee hours of the morning…

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