Let Me Sleep

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
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January 2023

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 

This is the New Year

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

Christmas is Over

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

Winter’s Beauty

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

Lost Appetite

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

A Soul Submerged

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

Cycles

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

Patience

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.

Top 5 Colors and Gems for the Spring Season | Angara Jewelry Blog

Safety in Darkness

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.

The dangers of duality — Tantrik Studies