Posts Tagged ‘sun’

Broken presence

July 30, 2017

Death breaks me open. It is Life’s warning signal that all that is comes to pass. Regardless of our inherent need for homeostasis to flourish and grow, cascading events will eventually overwhelm us and break the sustaining links.

Nothing comes to stay.

In just five short trips around the sun, this harsh reminder of impermanence has made it nearly impossible for me to stop and voice my process here. My mother and sister a few years ago, and my brother gone on the 12th of July are no longer available in my life. Minor deaths chip away at the façade of permanence – the death of all my possessions in a fire, a lover pretending to be a friend.

And with each death, I am broken open exposing dark, empty parts of me. I dream once again that I have died, read my obituary in the newspaper only to arise with the realization that I am broken with a choice: I can either close myself over that darkness or I can open my brokenness to the living presence in the light.

I took a short journey to the edge of my known world recently and submerged myself in its culture. I spent time with my grandchild who is my hope for the future even though I am broken enough to know it is not my future. We met our worries together and found they meant nothing. Only the present moment held meaning. Oblivion is waiting in the next blink of an eye.

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Across thousands of miles, a friend reached out daily and reminded me that life is not just death, but is also promise, love, and hope. To live broken is to make a contract with an eternal setting sun and lets its light reach me.

 

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The presence of cycles

May 12, 2011

Last week, I had a birthday. My best friend from high school sent me an e-card that encouraged me to celebrate completing “another trip around the sun.”

All this time, I have been doing nothing more than running around in a big circle. Two circles, actually.

It’s a pretty fast ride. First, the earth is skyrocketing around the sun at about 67,000 miles per hour. Second, our solar system is rotating around the center of the Milky Way galaxy at about 490,000 miles per hour.

At the same, time we are spinning on our axis at about 1,070 miles per hour (although the people at the poles travel slower because their circle is smaller . . . and, no, it does not make you age any slower).

Motion on such a grand scale feels as if I am standing still, yet I am attached and very much a part of these cycles. Motion on a molecular level (my cells dividing, consuming, dying) also feels like I am standing still. I can honestly say that I have never felt my body produce a skin cell.

But I can feel the momentum of one brilliant flash of insight and I am never the same again, no matter how hard I try to go back to me. I am simultaneously more and less than I was the moment before. Some neural energy reached across a synapse and sealed my consciousness to something new . . . something more than I used to be. At the same time, that connection loosens its hold on something I no longer need to be.

The earth is never the same from one day to the next either. The sun has spent energy that it can never recover. Minute by minute, the sun is diminished. I say this, but it would not surprise me if someday we discover that the sun is actually refueling itself. We are just so limited in our human minds that what we cannot conceive must not exist, and that is why we come to many of our erroneous conclusions about our existence.

Back to my point. My cycle of existence is very much a part of, within, connected to, and sustained by the cycles and circles of galaxies and a sun that burns so fiercely, it sustains life 93,000,000 miles away. This immense power has always sustained me and always will. I am changing, evolving, becoming just the same as any star in the universe.

To complicate matters, our Milky Way is zinging its way toward a specific point in the universe. I hope I am ready once we get there.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

long shadows and southern suns

November 9, 2010

It’s that funny little tilt of the earth that brings the shadows when our orbit takes us further away from the sun’s radiance. The sun no longer appears in the direct east or west in the morning or the evening. Instead, we gaze at a southern sun whose light casts long shadows all day long. This southern sun twinkles, casting everything with a raw, glittering light.

We watch dry leaves dance and scratch at pavement and sidewalks. Leafless trees shiver in the breeze, their branches rattling like bones. How brave they are to stand so naked in the eyes of the world. We wrap our cloaks around our bodies, twisting scarves about our necks and heads unwilling to expose even an inch of skin.

With the long shadows comes a quick and early darkness. It is our season of outdoor cold and inner warmth. Not much grows during these fast and limited days.

But inside, we are incubating.

There are shadowless days when pregnant grey clouds hover low on our horizons, promising snow and white blankets to dress the soil and further seal the hidden seeds and roots that wait for spring. We want to tuck ourselves inside layers of wool and dress our hands with fancy gloves. Indoors, safe from the icy drifts, we slide our bodies between flannel sheets and listen as the northern wind whispers through attic rafters.

These days are made for slowing down and sowing seeds. The dark was meant to chase us home. Human eyes don’t see well in the night. It is better to close them, to dream, to imagine what the world is growing hidden from our sight.

We seed ourselves with possibilities.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass