The photo above was taken by my roommate a couple of weeks ago just prior to a pretty major storm. When he sent the photo to me, he commented about how powerful the energy felt in the midst of the lightness and darkness of the clouds. As I looked through the photos on my phone tonight….I kept going back to this one. It reminded me that the strongest, most powerful areas of our life are where lightness and darkness intermingle.
When I look back at some of the most profound moments….the deepest changes….the most powerful magick in my life, it is always….and I dare emphasize always when light and dark butt heads. When I think of this, one of the darkest times in my life comes to mind. I was just out of high school. I had left home and family hoping to find myself among the bright lights of New York City. I had been there for eight months, sharing an apartment with six others actors, waiting tables on the side…sharing crumbs with the roaches. I was struggling with my sexuality at the time….after all, nobody in television or on stage was gay….ok, right. It was 1984. I had done some commercials, voice-overs, even some theater. I was actually doing pretty well for just starting out. I can remember sitting on the fire escape one night….trying to get a glimpse at some of the stars that it seemed I had left back in North Carolina. I watched as the lights of the city flashed around me. I looked down and watched the sparkle in the streets. I yelled out, “I am gay!!” I did it a couple of times. Finally, a voice shouted back to me, “Good for you! Now shut up and go to bed!” My being gay was such a heart wrenching ordeal for me….but in that moment, someone who really didn’t care…let me know that it really didn’t matter all that much to the world around me….why should I let it bury me in self-loathing.
Another instance when light and dark met for me was just as I was finishing up my college for the ministry. I had become so intwined in the problems of others….learning to hide myself again…that I fell into a deep depression. I went to bed and slept…..for weeks. I remember my mother coming into my room and saying to me, “Where is my David? I am used to him being my rock….my strong place. I don’t know what to do with this one. My insides hurt when I look at him.” I crawled back into myself and listened to my spirit cry. “Why was I who I was? Why couldn’t life be easier?” I had been on antidepressants, sleeping pills….whatever could be prescribed to numb my heart. I had pulled myself out of bed to go to church one Sunday morning in July. It had been raining for a week and I had to go over a bridge to get to the main road. As I have mentioned before in here, the water came behind my front tires as I tried to back up. I was swept out into the flood. I watched my car sink as I struggled. It would have been so easy to give up, but something rose up inside of me as I saw the sun between the trees. I fought with everything I had and hung in a grove of trees until someone heard my screams and a rescue boat was sent out.
Probably the darkest time I have endured is the death of my partner. We had loved each other wholly and completely for three years. When I close my eyes still today, I can remember everything about him. He was 6’4, an ex-marine, bright blue eyes, brown hair, muscles in all the right places. His heart was as good as any man’s heart could be. I knew he was HIV positive when I asked him out for the first time….I never dreamed he would say yes…he himself was a dream. He did say yes and we spent three short years in bliss. Nothing was ever too much to handle as long as we were together….he ingrained this mantra into my mind and my heart. But then, that day came when we weren’t together….when the ambulance took him away. That day was so dark….watching him on that ventilator day in and day out….finally watching him slip into the summerlands. This was a time when I realized just how strong I am. I came to understand how strong loving him had made me.
It is in these darkest times of my life that I learned how to fight. I understand that as witches, sometimes it can be easier to roll over and just say, ‘Goddess has got this.’ Yes, she may have the situation well in hand, but she also teaches us where our strengths lie and how we are best suited to battle. I can see in each situation, how I was shown how to get my armor and weapons ready. Each trial teaches us how to more effectively wield our sword.
I have to admit, it is far to easy to whine about all the little things around us. Trust me, this week I have done my fair share of bitching….about air conditioning not working, people being bitchy. It is in those times that I need to reach into those recesses and pull on the power that Goddess has placed inside of me.
If you think about it, we are becoming more like tempered steel every day. The heat that we endure with each circumstance we face….the strikes that every day life lands against us only sharpens and purifies us. We are more powerful when we strike because of the processes we go through.
No, I haven’t endured what you have. You haven’t been through the things I have. I am not trying to one-up anyone. All I am suggesting is that we each utilize those things in our lives that should knock us down for the count….show what we are actually made of and bounce back like the biggest mother-fucking ball you have ever seen.
I have mentioned to you before…a circle of strong witches that I have come to know as family. That circle grows more and more daily. I am fortunate….I have a strong circle of witches (male and female) that surround me. They call me on the carpet when it needs to be done. I do the same with them. I love them….I cherish them…..they stir up the fight in me daily.
When you find yourself surrounded in darkness….all you have to do is keep walking forward. Eventually you are going to see the sun shining through…and I bet you find yourself even more battle-ready than you thought you could be.