Just like that we are at the first week of Advent. Where did all the days go? I can see myself at this very desk last year, in a place where the immediate future seemed crystal clear. Weeks later I was thrown straight into the middle of the unforeseen. It was unexpected, difficult and completely changed the course of my life.
Now here I am again, a deeply changed individual, experiencing this threshold for the umpteenth time but also, it seems, for the first. I carry a wakefulness about the space I am entering. It is dark but not empty. It is full of cosmic possibility. I am meeting the season from a sacred internal space with renewed respect for transitions, deaths and awakenings. We are all there now, in this space of ending a year in our lives, but also marinating in the possibility of what we can create for the next.
Rilke’s words speak to me of the quality of the darkness we are stepping into this season. It is deep and encompassing. Many run from it, out of fear and discomfort. They turn up the volume on the carols instead, add a few dozen more lights to the overdone tree, splash more sparkle and shine on every available corner–in an almost hysterical move against the velvety silence. Few take the slow and mindful path towards Christmas. It seems easier to yank it prematurely forward, like an errant down comforter. But it is only temporarily shelter that keeps us away from the tender vulnerability the season has to offer.
It is not about the answers at all, but finding equanimity in a pool of questions, being okay to step in, explore, be, wonder, appreciating that there is vast potential for creation in the “nothingness”–in not knowing. It is about enkindling faith, trust and courage in the infinite life that inhabits and moves in this space. Standing there, being there, breathing into the cosmic timelessness is the very impulse that creates the light we are so deeply hungry for. It is us.
“I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.” And may you find comfort in the presence of others who stand with you.