Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: Winter Storms

Leah painted "The Key to Winter" and featured it on her blog today. It's the type of artwork that I could stare at and contemplate and see new things in at different points in my life, I'm sure. I don't know much about art, but I would describe this painting as "rich" and "full" and even, "stunning".

Saturday night as I write this we are getting ready for a winter storm. Power outages are anticipated. For us this means not just no power, but no heat, water, or bathroom facilities. Most people who live here just take all this in stride, but it bothers me. Everything from feeling the chilly wind, to the dark gloomy days, to the snow that clings, to not being able to walk my driveway because of the snow and ice, to....worst of all...having no control. Being ripped away from the things I care about and use to connect to the rest of the world, like my computer. From my books. From warmth. Water. Light.

My thoughts have been going down this dark path today.

I would like to be in the flow as I was when I went to Texas. For some reason, the fear of snowy storms makes it much harder. Even so I've decided to do the same thing that I did in Texas, just with much greater challenge. Be present, feel what there is to be felt, and go through the whole process, however it ends up.

Of course, I also bought (ordered) a book to support me. This one is called "Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season"---a book of short essays on winter---and has sections like "Winter As a Time of Sorrow and Barrenness", Winter As a Time to Be Scoured and a Time to Succor the Scoured", "Winter As a Time of Shoring Ourselves Up", "Winter As a Time of Delight and Play", etc. Each section is filled with stories by fine writers like Annie Dillard, Rachel Carson, E. B. White, and Kathleen Norris. Hurry, Amazon, hurry...I so need!

I don't feel jolly; I don't feel moved by the obvious beauty of the snow; I just feel cold and barren (but not depressed) and empty and dark. But now I realize that Sunday is Winter Solstice, and for some reason this gives me some peace. And I look at Leah's painting and feel like everything will be okay.

The Work by Byron Katie has helped me to accept reality, to challenge my thoughts---the ones that cause me to feel any type of stress. It provides an emotional and intellectual challenge that keeps me on my toes with the entire rest of my life. I think I will go and do some work on some of my thoughts about this. Or...even better...I think I'll go to bed. I'm coming down with a cold and maybe the sleep will give me the energy for a whole new perspective tomorrow, on Sacred Sunday, Winter Solstice.

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark


Leah said...

Olivia, I feel teary reading your post. Both because I can understand your feelings about winter and because I'm so touched by the way my painting has touched you. The snow is coming down here on the east coast as well, but it is wonderful to remember that the days will begin to get lighter and lighter after today. That's worth celebrating. Lots of love to you! xoxox

Olivia said...

Thank you, Leah. Yes, indeed.

The more I look at it the more I love it.

Love right back to you, and continuing encouragement in your work,


Anonymous said...

Olivia, I hope your book arrives soon and you kick that cold quickly. I'm glad you are using The Work to such a good effect in your life. Oh, and about not being in control? I so get this. Funny how my control issues are so compartmentalized. In some areas I'm a basket case, in other areas I can just flow and blow like a little leaf in a storm. Hugs to you.

Olivia said...

Kelly, all of our packages are held up and our driveway is inaccessible due to the snow storms. But I am reading what I can from the online exerpts on Amazon.

I wanted to write more about The Work, as it is SO incredibly helpful, but what I'd write involves others, so I can't really think of a way to right now. But I will in the future.

Yes, me too with control issues. I so know.

Hugs right back to you,