It’s just what we need, isn’t it?
Because right now it’s dark. Literally + figuratively.
Literally it is the first new moon of the year. The darkest night that rolls around every month. So, should you go outside this evening + look up, you will not find the big, beautiful moon hanging above you. Oh, she’s there, just as she is during every new moon phase. But, she is hidden. Making the night more dark than usual.
Figuratively, I believe that many of you will agree with me that we have entered a dark time in our history… especially in American history. Especially over the past week. Many of us, no matter where we live or if we are American or not, feel as if we are groping around in the dark. Unsure. Disheartened. Confused. Frightened about what the future holds.
And, as this week as passed, it feels like the darkness has crept in even more. Walls going up. Rights being taken away. Voices silenced. If you’re like me, you have begun to wonder just how dark it is going to get. Just how much more we can take. And it is very tempting to freak the fuck out.
But, you guys, there is still hope. I promise.
Just as the moon is still there, even though we cannot see her. Hope still exists even in the midst of the turmoil, sadness, and fear.
A friend of mine left a comment recently and mentioned a book that she was wondering if I had read. I hadn’t heard of the book before, but knowing my friend’s recommendations are reliable + just up my alley, I did a little research and now have a new book at the top of my “To Read” list.
Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit is exactly what we all need to be reading.
I explored the table of contents online and flipped over to the first page of the first chapter… and this is what I read:
On January 18, 1915, six months into the First World War, as all Europe was convulsed by killing and dying, Virginia Woolf wrote in her journal, “The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think”.
Crazy, huh? Unexpected, right? I mean, how can a dark future be a good thing?
Basically, what I think that Virginia Woolf is touching on, and what I suspect Rebecca Solnit writes about, is that out of darkness + chaos come light + order. That sometimes, just when we think that we’ve lost all hope, when the world is at its darkest, and that it is time to start freaking out because the world is going under, we can receive the gift of hope. But, it is up to us to believe in it + uncover it. It is up to us to grab onto the potential that lies deep in the dark.
Light can only be known because of the darkness. We can only grow when we experience the pains of growing. Transformation only occurs when we feel that there is nothing left. Spring can only come after the winter. The sun can only rise after the night.
This is the cycle of life.
In no way am I saying that we go out + look for suffering, pain, darkness. We do not need to. Life is filled with trials and difficulties all on it’s own. Death + dying, silence + hibernation are naturally a part of our life. Autumn always returns with its harvest and march towards death. Winter always arrives with its darkness, chill, and heavy sleepiness. A time when we feel that nothing is happening and that will never, ever end.
However, just as we can count on autumn + winter to remind us of the fragility of the end of life, spring and summer always return to remind us to wake up to the newness that is constantly born again and again.
In other words, something always emerges from the dark. Voices rise up. Our complacency + acceptance of the status quo is shaken, and we wake the fuck up.
I’d say that this hope is already possible to see today. There is strong resistance, reaction, and empowerment sweeping across the world. A rejection of injustice and a call for true equality, deep love, and sustained peace among all people. People are mobilizing, organizing, marching, writing, learning, educating, gathering… resisting!
Now, I am not happy that the darkness exists and that we are living in the times that we are living in. But, like Virginia Woolf, I believe in the future. I believe in the power of the voices and actions of the present resistance to lead us to a better future. And I do believe that, without all of the shitstorm that is going on right now, I dare say that so many people would be standing up + fighting for human rights.
Yes, the darkness is scary. But, we can harness the power hidden deep within the darkness, if we so choose.
The new moon, she’s up there. We just can’t see her. And, the potential for an even greater + more perfect world is out there. It is within us. And, though we are surrounded by darkness, the potential and power is with us. And, oh, just imagine how much we can be and do when we react, respond, and work together.
Sometimes, we simply need to embrace the idea that there are blessings in disguise.
Go outside tonight. Gaze up at the night sky… at the stars or clouds or whatever you might see. Trust that the moon is there. Because she really, truly is. The fact that she is hidden simply challenges us to dig deep and believe. To not give up just because we cannot see. And to not be afraid of the dark.
As you look up at the sky, make a promise or send out a wish. Commit to harnessing the power + potential of the dark, and to use it for good. This silent, dark night may be exactly what we need to give us the future that we want to create.
Happy New Moon blessings, wild ones.