Friday, December 7, 2012

I've Been Thinking About Stars

 All Right Reserved.

I've been thinking about stars and darkness. Maybe because I'm aware that it's winter back home.

During winter where I'm from, the valley floor drops deep. The sky turns clear indigo; then bright-light reflections flurry from the night clouds and smell like snow.  It's funny how you can smell it. See it in the sky. Know it's coming.

I miss winter, though I don't miss the cold or driving in the snow. I miss watching the hypnotising swirl of falling snow against the dark night. I miss getting caught in the moment (as a passenger) in the car, seeing the flakes flit and wave their way towards the windshield, sometimes in mass production, like some kind of Broadway show.

Winters can be so dark, though. So cold. Bones ache. Noses get frozen. Lungs hurt. You have to bundle up, add layers, to stay warm. You have to look for the light.

It's really no surprise that winter/dark are symbols we use for difficult times. Poets use them. Songwriters. The every day person.

It's hard to find that light when we're in our own darkness; but I know that's when we need to look for it the most. We have to find the beauty in the mess, the beauty and the love when we're cold and don't know what's around the corner.

I think these times are when we need to bundle up in the love of those who know us, who remember us for who we are, who see our potential. They can remind us we're strong, even when we don't feel that way.

I think love brings out the stars. This isn't to say we don't stay in the darkness awhile. Sometimes that is necessary, I think. Maybe I'm wrong. In my own experience though, you can't really appreciate the light, the goodness, without the dark. Perhaps they  need each other.

Sometimes others hurt us. Sometimes it's someone we love. That is super sucky. Sometimes we have no control and a disease or death takes over. And that is super sucky, too.

With all this, there's a sense of loss. 

Yet, there are gifts, too.


It might take awhile to find the good, the silver lining. Like poet Jim Bodeen says here "Take a bullet, make a song."

Despite how dark it gets, the stars do come out every night. And as woo-woo as it may sound, I like to believe we've got stardust in us. I think we're meant to shine.

Maybe it comes down to scraping the ice back to reveal the things we're grateful for. Even if it's an icicle, a snow flurry, or a glistening star on the horizon.


p.s. the quotes from dante and mary oliver inspired me after seeing them/being reminded of them on the poet, T's blog here.



27 comments:

  1. I think you're right...love does bring out the stars. And how would we ever see them if it was light all the time? This is hard but valuable truth. Well stated, Becky.

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    1. Thanks, Janice! <3 I think there's beauty in both - the dark and the light.

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  2. A couple of times in my life i have endured a dark and lonely night, in fact just recently i thought the night couldn't get any darker, but then the stars came out glistening and sparkling as if to say "Come on, you can make it through to morning."
    When the sun rise came and I could feel the heat on my body and soul i knew that the coldness of the night would make me appreciate the brightness of the day even more.
    Everyone loves a good sunset but to me it can leave a bitter sweet taste in my mouth as the realisation that another beautiful day is over coupled with apprehensiveness of not knowing what is hiding in the dark. But then as soon as it went the sun is back to light up the world. To me the best stars come out in the daytime.

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    1. That's a beautiful line, Alex, "...the best stars come out in the daytime." The sun is a star, really, isn't it? And with it, you get all that yellowy-golden happy goodness with it. :)

      Thanks for sharing your story!

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  3. Winter can be so beautiful, yet it is not my favourite season. I hate being so cold all the time. Right down to my bones and I can't warm up. But I do love seeing the snow falling when I'm safe indoors. Beautiful images.

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    1. It's not my favorite season, either, Suzanne. Spring is - by far - my favorite. I also love seeing the snow from the warmth inside. What I love about winter, though, is all that comes along with it: the smells (cinnamon, vanilla, pine, cedar); the contrast of bright and dark (and those bright glimmery-shimmery lights everywhere are just more brilliant because of the dark); the fuzzy, soft blankets; fires and smoke; cuddles; slippers; bundling up with tip-of-nose coldness. But I hate the toes freezing and the finger tips freezing and driving in the snow. :) And ice is not my friend. LOL

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  4. love this, becky! like i mentioned on FB, something that's stuck with me for a while is that the stars need darkness to shine. (or, more specifically, we need the darkness in order to see the light...absolutely, as you said!) this fall/winter for many of us in the states has been one of deeper connections and there's some heavy work happening in balancing the opposing sides of light and dark (because they're really not opposing at all, but both equally necessary) and you're feeling it, too. what a wonderful world of connectedness and i'm glad to have crossed paths with you <3

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    1. Thanks so much, Valeri! I love that you've been thinking of the same thing...stars needing the dark. I think it's part of the process. Part of remembering who we are (though that can be painful sometimes). For me, even creatively, I think I need the dark. When I can go there - I can produce things more. I can write poetry and get out what I need to say. I'm not so afraid of the dark anymore. Well. Sometimes I am. lol But then the stars come out and remind me (us) it's all OK.

      I am really glad we've crossed paths, too, Valeri. :)

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  5. The Dante quote is one of my favorites!

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    1. Thanks! It is an amazing, quote. I was actually reminded of it when I saw it on your blog! In fact, this is reminding me that I should link to your blog since I saw that quote there and it inspired me. (Unfortunately, sometimes I think about these things after the fact!) Will go edit and place a link to your blog now. :)

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  6. Nice post Becky. I love the quote by Mary Oliver, a nice way of saying there are gifts that come from something dark. That resonates with me.

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    1. I adore that Mary Oliver quote, too. In fact, I am a newly-in-love-with-Mary-Oliver convert. ;)

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  7. Nice post Becky. I love the quote by Mary Oliver, a nice way of saying there are gifts that come from something dark. That resonates with me.

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  8. Thank you Becky, that's just what I need to read right now as I prepare for a hiking/camping trip to the mountains to scatter my brothers ashes. I'll look up at night and look for those stars and think of bright lights like you.

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    1. Suzi, I am very sorry for the loss of your brother. I cannot imagine. I hope that the bright stars bring you comfort on your hiking/camping trip. I hope that it brings you some peace and comfort, filling some small space in a vast hole that has been left for you and your family.

      Many hugs and a lot of love heading your way.

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  9. Thanks for this. It made my heart sing - this post is something i can so relate to in the midst of my own dark night right now. I LOVE the Mary Oliver quote, purely beautiful. I agree whole heartedly with what you said about surrounding ourselves in love during these dark times. I think sometimes we feel we have to be tough and learn how to make it through dark times on our own... that is certainly how I used to feel. But losing my fiancé was so devastating that I knew I needed all the help I could get to survive it. i have done just that... surrounded myself so entirely with the love of his family, my family, our friends... to the point that i moved in with his parents and quite honestly have just let myself be taken care of by them (while in turn taking care of them too). We are healing each other with love. We are talking, sharing, leaning, crying, laughing, bitching together through it all. It has changed my whole experience of grieving and changed me too. It may be the darkest time in my life, but it has also been the most surprisingly beautiful and full-of-love time in my life too. There are always stars shining in the darkness if we just look up to see them. <3

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    1. I love that Mary Oliver quote, too. I think the experience you're having with your fiance's family is amazing. It's very special that you've been able to come together and help one another heal. I think sometimes we do have to let ourselves go and be completely vulnerable to those who love us - and be 'taken care of,' like you said...to be completely open to others' love. I think that is where you can find just how strong you really are. And look how incredibly strong you are, Sarah! You're amazing. You've gone through something no one should have to. Ever.

      I think it's fascinating that how wrapping yourself in others' love is changing your perception of grief.

      Yes. The stars are always there. I am glad you see them. :)

      Much love to you.

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  10. This was such a wonderful post. I think people are learning more about their shadow sides, or at least acknowledging that it exists. It is there for a reason, it's just a matter sometimes of figuring out what it is for you. Stars always make me consider things outside myself, and make me a little less self-absorb, and maybe that the universe's way of nudging us out into loving on a global level...at least I hope :)

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    1. The stars do put us in our place a bit, don't they, Indigene? Make us realize we're quite small in this vast world. It's such a lovely thought that it's the universe prompting us to be more loving. I hope so, too. :)

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  11. Becky, thank you. I believe, with all my heart, that we are meant to shine. Continue to let YOUR light shine. You are an inspiration to all those around you.
    I love you,
    Mom

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    1. You're totally biased, mom. lol But thank you! I love you!

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  12. Not a new concept, buy oh how you've breathed new life and understanding into it! Poetically, beautifully, expressed, Becky!

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  13. I loved this post Becky, especially the way wrapping ourselves in love and gratitude brings us warmth and strength. It reminds me of the South Pole penguins huddling up to keep warm and protect their precious eggs, so that life can be born again in the spring...

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    1. Hi Laly! Love the image of the south pole penguins! :) Thank you!

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