As the turtle turns
Today is the darkest day of the year, and in a time of inward turning, I feel in me the darkness and deeper layers of myself bubble up to the surface. And yet, it is not so dark, because of the full bright light of the moon shining through my skylight at night. It is like a light is shining on my darkness allowing me to see it better; examine its intricacies and depth. Yes, depth is the word I was looking for!
Curiously, though I delude myself into believing that my darkness and journey into my depth is all mine, I can see it reflected back to me in my community. Many of you who have been here, or lived/worked/played in any kind of community, for that matter, know what I am talking about. There is a certain bare nakedness to living with yourself amongst a bunch of people that really shines the light on personal/group darkness, so to speak.
This dark side of community is the very stuff people avoid talking about when the idyllic discussion of community comes up. Community has this enlightened facade, where everything is merry and things get done and people get a long. My experience is that people don’t just get along. In fact, if I speak for myself, I am very hard to get along with at times and I’ll be darned if it isn’t showing up in community! I’m opinionated and fiery. I don’t have very much patience for people who don’t think the way I do. I’m 29 years old and the whole world is about me! Seems simple: this woman clearly does not belong in community.
This is where the blog comes into the picture. My job is to share and archive the experience of being in community, and to do that I Tweet, and I Facebook, but the crux of my work is the blog. And I’ve been avoiding it in the past week. I have been hiding my process away, so that I can just be the happy blogger who shows you pictures of red roofs and living spaces built by hand. Damn. My heart beats hard as I think it.
I am struggling to find my voice as a single woman. As I write this post, I am going deeper into my own depths, both personally and professionally (is there a difference?). I am engaging with community in a new way, a deeper darker way. I’m letting others support me as I walk a line I’ve never walked before and belive me, the thought has crossed my mind ‘what do they owe me?’. The ecovillage has a policy that we don’t huck people off the planet, and I’m counting on that right now!
I’m counting on my community seeing me in all of my crap right now, and knowing that the crap is only a part of me. That my light, vivacious and inginuitive side is what casts the shadow of my deepest darkness. I’m praying that they believe, like I do, that anywhere a tight knit group of humans gather to relate to one another, there is always a balance of darkness and light. I am diving in to see if it’s real: if I can really love my darkness and light and if they can too.
Here at O.U.R. Ecovillage we have a special tradition on the solstices and equinoxes. We all gather atop vision hill, where many have sat on this land to envision the future of community, and we turn the turtle. For me it symbolizes a shift in perspective, an acknowledgment that I can go deep into the dark without fear that the light will never come.
I invite you thoughts about this sacred time, and with how your turtle turns.
*Solstice photo contributed by Kyle Hilsop (my big bro)