Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Turn, turn, turn
Final Verse from Chapter 38 of the Tao te Ching
So the sage only looks at what is really real
He doesn't just look at the surface
He blows away the dust and drinks the water
He doesn't just go for the flower
But also for the roots and fruit
Blow away the dust, now:
Come to the living water.
I'm really beginning to get it - that summer solstice - for me at least - is about heartbreak. Yesterday I took some time to look at old journals, read old blog posts. It's fascinating, in a sad way, to see that every year at this time, I suffer a huge loss. What is up with that?
Last year it was Jake, the very worst thing that has ever happened to me. The day he died I came straight home from the vet and wrote a beautiful post about him. I'm still amazed I had the wherewithall to write that post. I was such a wreck that day and for months afterwards. This year I'm suffering another loss. Even an ice pack on my heart and a stiff drink after a serious sweaty cathartic walk did nothing to alleviate the heartache. And I'm writing writing writing. I'm powerless, apparently, to stop the flow of words.
I was thinking this morning about the sacrifice of the King, the old agrarian story of summer solstice, in which the king must be killed, his blood sprinkled on the ground, in order to ensure a good harvest. In the San Francisco spiritual community I was involved with, we built a wicker man at summer solstice from highly flammable materials, decorated him with all kinds of things: bits of old candles, roses, leftover spell workings and such. After a plunge into the FREEZING ocean, we lit the wicker man, watched him burn while singing or perhaps dancing around (you see, old habits die hard, hence my crazy shamanic dancing whenever I sense a flow of energy). At the end of the ritual, an archer shot an arrow, attached to a lit sparkler, out over and finally into the Pacific Ocean, as a salute to Brother Sun at sunset on the longest day of the year.
It was a beautiful ritual, though I'm thinking in some way I have taken in the concept of sacrifice perhaps too deeply. All the themes of solstice fun, you know, like a midsummer's night dream, frolicking in the woods, drinking honeysuckle necter, hanging out with the fairies? Doesn't resonate with me at all.
At summer solstice, I grieve, I do. Last year was awful. This year? Awful, too. As much as I detest the winter holiday season, it's clear that winter solstice is a much finer time for me. Bring on the shorter days, please? All this abundance is killing me!