Sunday, November 11, 2012

harmonize and shine

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.// There's nothing enlightened about shrinking So that other people won't feel insecure around you. // We are all meant to shine.
--Marianne Williamson

Delight and shine.
Delight and shine.
Two words that harmonize so well together.
To delight in the light all around us, and to delight in our own light that shines--that shines to add to the beauty of the light that sustains us.

Among whom you shine like lights in the world, says Paul. 

Friday night we revisited a retreat center that I had spent a night at right at the beginning of the year. It prompted what became an extended fit of melancholy. Revisiting a location and awakening all the memories that exist not only in that location, but awaken memories of what you were thinking or feeling or loving or hating or worrying or praying or hoping when you visited there. It was so beautiful to reflect on the adventure that the year has been.

But, when I arrived back on campus on Saturday, I found myself feeling numb. And dry. Uncreative, unresponsive. Despite being told to shine and to be my effusive, joyful self, I found myself retreating inwards back into Melancholy-ville. And I tried to sit down multiple times and reflect on the weekend, and write. But the words weren't coming.

Our greatest lights can also be our greatest darknesses: the gifts that we use to bring so much beauty into the world are our greatest weapon to bring the most hurt. So when I have been the most hurt, I find myself numb and devoid of all words. And when I want to work the most hurt, I hold back. I don't say anything. There is a silence that lives within us, that fuels expressions of love and beauty. When melancholy turns me inward, I let the silence turn into something that chokes any words of love or beauty before they can escape.
I love silence: the joyful silence of peace; but not the dry, barren silence of selfishness.


There were at least five babies babbling in Mass today. As I waited in line for communion, I began to smile as I listened to their little voices tearing through the air. I watched the morning sun shine through the stained glass windows, and sparkle and dance on the glossy floor by the altar.
In that warm silence, I found that I could speak again.
The first words I said were

still I search for shelter from your light.//There is no where on earth I can escape you,//Even the darkness is radiant in your sight.

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