It's not fair I can't fall asleep with the trees every winter and only rise again when the distant sun returns being left abandoned in this windswept landscape is too much agony to endure year after year Left to live as a corpse in this cold darkness denied the sweet slumber offered to half of nature unable to escape into an expanded unconsciousness until I am awaked by the scent of spring flowers Half my life is wasted waiting for the thaw huddled into myself for safety and warmth where the beauty of the silent snow cannot creep into my veins Patience is a virtue I have not been artful in the ticking clock torments me and tears me down telling me I must rise and not let time slip by while my delicate soul continues to shiver
January punishes with pale grey glances punctuated by ragged breaths of sharp wind the air is empty of all familiar affection no more lingering, soft caresses from the sun The candles have all been extinguished on hearths and families that had gathered for feasting seem to have long since dispersed and dissolved back into this new year of silent, bleak darkness Expected to set goals while my soul is frozen over exhausted by the pitiful effort of just trying to get by themes of death thud against the weather worn door while paper crane wishes are swallowed up in icy oblivion Winter is a season where time stands still and all perspective on life is lost within waiting and the halfhearted insistence I'll feel good again in spring promise me this practice of painful patience will pay off
The new year emerges under ice and snow the shivering beauty of fresh starts are still tangled with somber shadows The new year reminds us that beginnings and endings are both as sharp as the cutting winter wind amid this season of death, space is made for the spring The new year slips silently past the white horizon bringing the bright, painful light of sober morning to aching heads and rooms littered with good time debris The new year offers a choice to change the opportunity to bravely face another blank slate a promise we can make ourselves to keep moving forward
Soft warm light suspended in the brutal vacuum of snow one final day of indulgence before the empty months commence January is the longest part of the year a vicious nod to immaterial time that contracts and expands as it pleases to trap us in the cold violence of winter The sunshine tide will slowly ascend further up the shores of frozen evenings to melt the aching numbness of vitamin D and dopamine withdrawal But even the faithful repetition of 29 years cannot convince me that the trauma of winter will give way to green abundance once again and melt this ice inside my veins Waiting in this black and white is a reminder that I still haven't found the patience I was promised would come with age just more pain piled on with yearly practice
Cotton candy sunrise ascending over frost covered hills commands the soul to stop and take notice with silent reverence Cold light magnified through icicle laden limbs of trees is obscured behind private clouds created by every exhale Pristine beauty pervades the stillness of the snowy winter months stirring up a pious inner hope that death will somehow seem as lovely
Certain seasons of life pass by in a painful haze of indifference all appetite for living has been lost a shade of sadness that turns the stomach and leaves you without even a taste for longing Sifting through the sterile earth the ashen grey dust of memory searching for even an aftertaste of delight hope can only sprout in the fertile soil of a desire for better things to come When even yearning has gone sour this prison of depression is complete the gaping maw of all consuming despair swallows up past, present, and future alike into the black hole vacuum of its belly Not even light can escape this sunken place inside a yearly ritual of falling head first into the black and white chasm of winter exhausted limbs clinging to a foggy faith in the coming spring
The tide rises with the descending sun and as the leaves form a crunchy crust over the earth that grows thicker with each passing day I watch the waters creep closer pawing at the shoreline of my soul No breakers can withstand the slow advance of the seasons time ensures the slow submersion into the living death of ice and snow I brace myself for another long sleep Water-logged months of darkness slow, undulating rhythm below the waves of winter are hard, helpful reminders of interconnection insolation and artificial lighting cannot replace the outstretched arms of sensual sunshine The earth turns inwards and withdraws a well deserved rest from being taken for granted nursing her wounds beneath the cold surface resting and recharging to return again the faithful promise that keeps me going
My sorrow comes in cycles waxing and waning with the moon regular intervals of lapping tides frigid dark waters against a jagged shore long desolate seasons of solitude convince me that joy was never mine the cosmos close in around me a heavy weight upon my sunken chest when the sun finally emerges on the other side of that cruel and endless winter wasteland happiness breaks over my heart like a revelation my sleeping soul cracks open shivering with delight in the warm heavy air finally freed from its cramped cocoon to absorb the majesty of the world reborn open and unafraid, buoyantly held above the stark reality of the season past the second side of my dual nature shaking off the bizarre burden I've been carrying why was I so sad before? what was it that I'd been pained by? now suffering seems so far away was it ever here at all? I don't recognize myself as I look back through the snow and the aching, bony trees caught in the swift, sharp wind the summer beckons me forward into a bright mirage of green where nothing can cause me harm where this time the cycle has surely stopped each moment maintains its own eternity forever paralyzed in each part of the pattern immovable sadness giving way to boundless joy always and again
Winter’s gonna end, I’m gonna clean these veins again
So close to dying that I finally can start livin’An Attempt to Tip the Scales – Bright Eyes
Why has anyone chosen to live in a place where it’s winter? Where half the year is a living death. Where the color bleeds away with the leaves, dissolving deep into the soil before the freeze. Without my even noticing, the bird songs have all gone silent. I hardly ever realize until I feel that fluttering joy in my chest in the bleary moments of morning as they slowly begin to return bit by bit. A half asleep smile reminds me of the sun.
I see flashes of it through half lidded eyes. Those days where the air was warm and thick. When the light penetrated everything and soaked us all in pulsing heat. The heartbeat of existence ever so lightly touching the finest hair on exposed skin, tickling and translucent. These memories are stale now like old photographs. A hollow nostalgia for what’s been lost.
Abandoned each season by love, by heat, by life itself. Left alone in a silent, grey vacuum. The absence of everything. Even what’s inside. The very air around me, turned sharp. I must tether myself to hope, to the reluctant reassurance of spring. Glistening diamonds spread across snow remind me that the sun still lingers here. Whispered promises of her return.
Soon the earth with burst forth from this frozen tomb. The colorful explosion of unfurling leaves, the small scurrying sounds of our mother’s smallest beasts. The air will fill again with song. And surely, surely so will my heart.
The colorless, odorless, sunless expanse of this long winter slouches over me, obscuring my heart, shrouding me in icy darkness. Happiness is supposed to come from inside, but if we are all one, doesn’t that mean this bitter cold is also inside of me? Freezing over a joy that only spring can defrost? There is a duality in my very nature that pulls me apart. It is never more apparent than when these alter egos emerge in the face of the changing seasons. I’ve learned my rising/ascendant sign is Gemini, and I feel it.
I can’t reconcile these two sides of myself into one cohesive whole. One version of me is optimistic, playful, lighthearted, full of light, laughter, hope, and joy. This is the me that fell in love with yoga, that weeps at the cruelties I’ve inflicted on myself, that finds blissful stillness in a meditative state, that breaths deep and easy, that finds comfort and safety in gratitude and compassion. This is the me that I was as a child, friendly, curious, open, loving.
When I became a teenager, I thought this part of me was lost forever. I saw it transmuted into a deep inky darkness that bled out and stained every part of my snow white soul. I anguished in the face of the life I saw before me. I learned to hate myself and nearly everyone else too. Reality seemed too unjust, too wretched, too heavy to bear. Many days I cursed myself for being a coward and not bringing it to an end all together. Living and dying both seemed unacceptable and I felt painfully caught in between the two. This self found comfort only in nihilism, in darkness, in the thought of burning it all down some day. I wrapped myself in this darkness and lived in it for years, believing it would be my home forever, or at least as long as I could last.
When I found yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and other self-love practices it was like the sky cracked open and the bright light that shined on me in my early days had returned to me. I couldn’t believe it was possible. I had never thought I would set down the heavy weight of my inner burdens again for even a moment. Each breath was taken into brand new lungs, supplying oxygen to a transformed mind. I was so grateful to be freed from myself, to come back to who I had always hoped I might have been. And just like before, I thought this too would be a permanent and lasting shift.
It is so hard to slip back into the darkness again from that place of peace and light. I feel myself grasping for it even now. In this black, starless night, it is impossible to believe that the sun will rise again, to convince myself to keep moving forward. Harder still is understanding the strange pleasure I derive from the very darkness that plagues me. Part of me enjoys this thick, inky hopelessness. Somehow there is comfort in the weight pressing me into the dust. I find sick joy in the nostalgia of it all, in feeling like this helpless, worthless thing.
It feels nice to indulge myself, to let myself be crushed. I am repelled by my uplifting, spiritual practices, by the very light that I desire. I cradle my wounded heart in sad, despairing songs. I savor the salty taste from licking my long jagged wounds. Despite the pain, it feels more right in the darkness than it ever has in the light. It feels more true. There is no more imposter syndrome. I belong here it seems. It’s easier to identify with my suffering than with my joy in many ways, an energy flowing downstream instead of against the current.
Despite this odd sense of coming home to myself, I’m afraid of resting here. Even though it feels nice to nestle into my inner darkness, I fear if I stop here, I’ll never again find the light that I know I still need. Even so, for now I think I’ll lie my head down for just a moment and give myself permission to rest.