We sit in darkness until light enters … the flame of hope renewing land and peoples. We give ourselves to her transformative fire… turning scarcity into abundance.
– Rose Flint, 2013
How do we keep our inner fire alive? … Every day it’s important to ask and answer these questions: “What’s good in my life?” and “What needs to be done?” – Nathaniel Branden, Passion and Soulfulness
…Deep within every life … there is something eternal happening. This is the secret way that change and possibility conspire with growth… – John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
In honor of the season – it being midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox, for one thing; and in some parts of the country, signs of spring emerging (although in northern Vermont winter itself, if not the darkness, seems to have passed us by) – we wrote about the coming light. Change. The inner fire. Partly in response to the epigraphs, above; and to our opening poem by Miriam Dyak, ‘Imbolc.’
But also because I had promised the inside writers an opportunity to write to a single shared visual prompt (see image, above). This exercise is always beyond powerful. The eye sees, first, with past experience that might tend to turn away, turn inward, refuse engagement. But a second, longer look almost always brings the writer, without realizing it, to something deeper and completely real.
Our collective experience last week was no exception. The writings were so rich and so varied, I have elected to share snippets from several rather than one or two in their entirety.
And a final question I’d leave you with: what do YOU see in this image? Put pen to paper and write for 20 minutes, without stopping or editing or letting your thinking mind intervene. You might be surprised to find your own light – however you define it – emerge from within.
Her eyes are blue
her fingers slender
her face is beautiful
thoughts escape her
like growing roots from a tree
they are intertwining each other.
A cry is heard.
She imagines someone is trying to reach her —
Listening, she feels her within
as flowers are held
she reaches out, but cannot grasp.
Both know they are together
inside the mind of a dream.
OLD AND NEW
The image makes me see a strong woman who believes in the choices she makes now. She’s holding her hand up as if she is saying, “STOP!” to the past choices or demons in her head. It’s as if she she’s looking to the future, strong and brave.
A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER
A mother and daughter in the woods
The mother getting upset at something the daughter did and is walking away from her, not paying attention.
The daughter in the trees calling out for her mother to wait
The mother being so upset she sees red.
A sad woman waves goodbye to the one
she loved before the burning of her heart.
She reaches out with no one there to hold.
She tries to come close but the fire gets too bad.
There are too many broken and burnt branches.
She can’t get close to her. She cries out
but she don’t listen. As she gets one branch out,
another falls with flames. It keeps going
but the heart don’t stop.
Who are you, this mysterious woman holding a lifeline. Allowing me to fade into the background. Am I not enough, can you not see me or hear me? My lungs are devoid of air. I see a sign in the flames. You know what this is, a mixing and melding of thought. The electrons in your brain are firing, branching out into space and time. A dream, within a dream, within itself. Is it my mind reacting, am I this mystery woman? Holding my own lifeline tightly in my hands, listening, non-moving, not reacting to my very own cries for help? Should I turn around and look? …
WHAT I SEE
A look of punishment upon your face
while your body’s poised with grace –
so much can be seen through your eyes.
I stand here listening to your cries,
noticing as your hair starts to grow
that it’s turning onto a show.
A tree with branches spreading like wings
making a noise that sings.
Red, orange and yellow shine through
but all I really see is you!