Friday, March 7, 2014

dark-light, summer-winter

“Experience life in all possible ways -
good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light,
summer-winter. Experience all the dualities.
Don't be afraid of experience, because
the more experience you have, the more
mature you become.”

- Osho

The principal person in a picture is light. 

- Edouard Manet

To love beauty is to see light.

- Victor Hugo

From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.

- Emerson

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
Anton Chekhov

This was the light at 7am, one morning this past week. I can't stop thinking about it.

The day before I had begun dismantling the roses which you've seen here all week. They were finished, all but this pink and white one with the green edges.

By 7am, I have finished here, I've had a cup of coffee or two while writing something for a blog post. Then I go into my daughter's room to wake her up. Ace always follows. Then it's time to get breakfast ready, so I swing into the kitchen. Often the camera is sitting on the kitchen table. Waiting for something like this.

All week I've been trying to write something about light and about compassion. I've been reading about compassion fatigue and burnout. I'm coming up on my 3 year anniversary at the library and I'm exhausted. I think this is normal, and in a way I take it as a positive sign. If you don't feel compassion, you're not going to feel fatigue, right? I think many people imagine working at a public library is lovely and calm and quiet and that one talks about books all day. And there is a great deal of that, certainly. But there are also homeless people, people with literacy issues, people for whom poverty is an issue, troubled and mentally ill people, disruptive and distressed people. I could go on. What the library is, is a microcosm of what goes on in a city, and so it's a privilege to have glimpses into all these lives, and it's a privilege when people share things with you. And I don't think you can deal fairly with people unless you feel compassion for whatever they might be going through.

Also, at this point of winter, one can't help but enter into conversations about how long it's been, how particularly cold and inhospitable it's been. A less light-filled winter, too, than we are accustomed to.

The good news is that I have a holiday coming up at the end of the month. Which I think will do the trick for me. And also, light. I have these moments of experiencing light which is perhaps a proper counterbalance to the rest of life, to the experience of life and all its contradictions.

Sometimes the light will find you.

But sometimes you have to go looking for it. As I did later the same day. And there it was.


  1. the pictures here
    on this post and your thoughts accompanying them . . .
    are just exquisite. but then they usually are.
    i had never thought of the library like that. so i learned something.
    but yes.
    i can see it would easily be everything you've said.
    bless you shawna. for sharing your light!
    that sounds phony and cliché. but i mean it. just simply. true. xo

    1. you say the loveliest things. thanks tammy.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...