Friday, January 2, 2009

The Long Dark

Originally posted to Live Journal, September 10, 2005


The clouded evening whispers:
The long night is coming!
Who will light the tapers?
Who will keep me warm
in the folds of his cloak?

Wendy Rathbone

I quote one of my above poems because there is a current pyschic theme running through our country right now, in the wake of Katrina, and that theme is: who is our savior, and if that savior fails is he to blame? My poem, when I wrote it, expressed a deep, fairly generic longing I feel when I look at the night sky, hear the whistling wind, smell rain and pumpkins on Halloween Eve. The longing is almost like a psychic call to the unknown, an expression, a shrug, a whispered "I'm here." "I am." I've never really thought of it as a search for who will save my soul, or rescue me from this earthly plane. It's more of the instinctive question that bubbles up now and again: "Are we alone?" It's curiosity, the tilted-head look, the sense of wonder...and wondering. And when you do find some "one," a lover, a friend, a like soul, and you feel some comfort, some warmth, isn't it nice to be enfolded in that cloak, in that company? Any future disappointment that might come is in direct proportion to our own expectations, so to not have assumptions and expectations is perhaps the best ideal, but of course we cannot live without them.

Accomplishment comes from ideals and expectations. And this leads me back to Katrina and its survivors. Who is there for them? Who will enfold them? Who will comfort? And it always and only can ever be one response: us. It's all we have. We're all we have. No God comes down with a big hand and lifts us up. If God is hope, then hope is in us. And in the end, we have only ourselves. We are hope or destruction, dark and light, good and evil, our choice. If we disappoint ourselves, then we can learn to be better. This is a human story on a human plane. We make it or we break it. Perhaps when I look into the unknown, when I call, I am searching for myself. I am trying to find me, a better me, the best me. Because so far, in the weirdest ways, that is who has answered.

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