Solitude, light and awe

On balance, it’s where I prefer to be: somewhere in the middle. Certainty is a dead space, in which there’s no room to grow. Wavering is painful. I’m glad to be travelling between the two.*
Katherine May

We are the dawning of the universe upon itself.**
Rebecca Elson

Katherine May is describing her practice of getting up early and lighting a lamp but also a candle at her desk: one light steady, the other wavering.

She reminds me of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s identifying of two impulses: one of homing, the other of exploration. In her solitude May is identifying with these, so I thought to include John O’Donohue’s blessing for solitude and what it brings to us:

May your recognise in your life the presence,
Power and light of your soul.

May you have respect for your individuality and difference.^

There’s the light again, helping us to find our way, and I am reminded of three I hold close to: the light of humility, the light of gratitude, and the light of faithfulness.

Jonah Paquette teaches me that although awe can, on the one hand, arise from vastness, and be either perceptual – perhaps a sunset, or conceptual – perhaps an idea, on the other hand it can be something that transcends understanding and changes us.^^

In your solitude, may you find your guiding lights, and journeying between homing and exploration, be changed from your wonderful glory to more glory.

*From Katherine May’s Wintering;
**From Rebecca Elson’s A Responsibility to Awe;
^From John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: For Solitude:
^^See Jonah Paquette’s Awestruck.

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