The Season of the Dark and Happily EVEN After

The Season of the Dark and Happily EVEN After

The poem below, The Season of the Dark, speaks so eloquently to the ongoing grieving of our souls for all we love, for the world, as we try, try, try to come out of the lockdown and hunkering down from the pandemic. 

On the way there, my colleague Jonah Paquette’s new book, Happily EVEN After: Daily Practices to Recover Joy after Hardship, Heartache, and Heartbreak, will be published this week. My own endorsement:

In Happily EVEN After, Dr. Jonah Paquette deftly applies the best of positive psychology to the worst of times. But Happily EVEN After is far more than a skillful and timely guide to overcoming the suffering and emerging from the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a journey of psychological richness and growth, hopeful and extraordinarily helpful in developing 12 essential skills of lifelong well-being. Dr. Paquette offers an abundance of experiential practices, from the familiar to the robustly complex, that make these essential skills come alive. All along the way, Dr. Paquette’s style is so personal and accessible, the entire book reads like a warm conversation with a trusted friend.

 Many of the practices will be familiar to the readers of these posts. Jonah and I have been good friends as well as colleagues for a number of years and freely trade insights and practices back and forth. And it’s also true that Jonah presents these practices in a way that has real depth and power to them.  Definitely worth checking out.

And here’s The Season of the Dark by Maya Spector…

The Season of the Dark

This is the season of the dark.

It is not only the natural ebbing

of the year’s light that causes distress.

This dark has shadowed many lives

with difficult and deep times:

–   broken bones;

–   the death of a friend’s beloved;

–   another’s home lost to fire.

A new normal descends, with needs for:

–   walking carefully;

–   hunkering down;

–   exhaling pain and grief.

And what is happening in our small lives

mimics what is happening in the world

and to the earth.

But in my dreams:

–   my hands turn towards healing;

–   a whale approaches the sacred cliff;

–   I bring flowers to a ritual.

The oracle advises yielding, and so I:

–   move slowly;

–   privilege the small;

–   let the Ghost River carry me.

I have spent a lifetime

trying to change the mind that

equates dark with bad.

In this season of suffering,

that challenge more than abides.

Don’t tell me that

this will all pass:

–   the darkness;

–   the pain;

–   the acute grief.

I know in my head that this is so,

at least for humans.

I do not know if it is true

for the world.

What I do know is that 

I must follow the oracle and

attend to the dreams,

which tell me:

–   to heal all that I can;

–   to pray my way through;

–   to offer flowers with respect and gratitude.

May we move through the dark

with a modicum of grace.

May we see what is precious

in the darkness and what

gestates here.

May the light return

in its season, for all.

– Maya Spector