Remembering Light

 

winter light
winter light

It’s late December. Mid-afternoon and the sky already dark. Snow still coming down. It started before dawn.

I’ve been thinking about emotion and memory.

What is memory anyways? It’s nothing solid. Like all in life, it changes. I can tell that my memories move like a story told over and over. The essential points stay the same, but the details shift. Am I remembering more clearly when this happens, or am I filling in gaps, making things whole, putting clothes on the bones of what I recall?

I am remembering the Christmas Eve I was in Grade Five. My sister and I were given night lights in the shape of genie lamps. All other gifts were abandoned as we carried our lamps around the house, Aladdins in nightgowns and slippers. I remember the two of us, whispering and giggling in the dark cave of the hallway outside our bedrooms. We had turned off the hallway light, and all was now mysterious and spooky as we moved around, genie lamps in hand, their blue plastic light covers casting shadows we couldn’t recognize.

This I remember clearly. What I don’t recall with any certainty is whether my lamp was the pink and black one and Carrie’s the aqua blue and grey one, or the other way around. When I picture us in the December dark, I can see either lamp in my hand. I remember them both.

I don’t know what happened to my genie lamp. I do know I loved it, played with it, kept it on the floor by my bed. I suppose I eventually outgrew it, and it was lost deep in the big cardboard toy box Carrie and I shared. Or perhaps, when I tired of it, it was given away to a younger cousin or to a daughter of one of my parents’ friends.

What does not shift in this memory of light in the dark, is the feeling of fun and play, laughter and enjoyment, friendship and love with my sister. I feel all of this now as I write. You can’t see me, but I am all smile like a Cheshire cat.

Here in this memory is joy and light and love.

When I am afraid and in the dark, all I need do is remember Carrie and me in that dark hallway, playing with the light of our genie lamps, giggling and whispering. If I trust myself enough to allow this memory to fill me, body, mind, heart, and spirit, I can see my way here, now, and walk myself out of fear and the dark, back into light.

My mom-in-law, who does not know this story, found a genie lamp in a garage sale. She bought it and gave it to me. It sits here on my work table, a treasure among treasures. It is exactly like the one in my memory. Aqua blue and grey, like my sister’s lamp, or mine—that part does not matter. To my eyes, it is the colour of light and play and laughter and love.

_______________________

I first posted ‘Remembering Light’ last February.  As we move through the world’s celebrations of light and towards the Winter Solstice, I wish us all light and play and laughter and love.

Love is my power

I drummed rain and became the river (Paul)
I drummed rain and became the river (Paul)

I am dreaming.

I stand barefoot in a land of white mist. An Elder appears in front of me and offers me a drum.

I hold the drum in my hands. I know it brings power. Calls the lightning and thunder. On the skin of the drum sits Bear, sticking out his tongue at me and laughing. Power and joy and light.

I look up. The Elder is gone.

An Elder rises from the earth in front of me and hands me a drum.

The drum is small, barely six inches across. It moves in my hands, sings to me. This drum is heart and love. Hummingbird flies on the skin of this drum.

I look up. The Elder is gone.

I stand barefoot. Before me I see blue water, green hills, red earth, bright sun. The wind moves round me, playing, whispering.

I am standing in my heart, power and joy and light in one hand, heart and love in the other. Hearing the wind whisper to me–Love is your power, Your power is love.

I wake. The sun shines through my bedroom blinds. The palms of my hands and the soles of my feet are tingling. I feel the drums in my body. I feel Bear standing behind me, paws on my shoulders. Hummingbird by my right ear, weightless. The drums sing inside me.

Love is my power. My power is love.

Remembering light

winter light
winter light

 

I have been thinking about emotion and memory.

My memories are loaded with emotions.  That’s why I remember them.  The emotions make them stand out, make them stick.

What is memory anyways?  It is nothing solid.  Like all in life, it changes.  I can tell that mine moves like a story told over and over.  The essential points stay the same, but the details shift.  Am I remembering more clearly when this happens, or am I filling in gaps, making things whole, putting clothes on the bones of what I recall?

I remember the Christmas Eve I was in grade 5.  My sister and I were given night lights in the shape of genie lamps.  All other gifts were abandoned as we carried our lamps around the house, Aladdins in nightgowns and slippers.  I remember the two of us, whispering and giggling in the dark cave of the hallway outside our bedrooms.  We had turned off the hallway light, and all was now mysterious and spooky as we moved around, genie lamps in hand, their blue plastic light covers casting shadows we couldn’t recognize.

This I remember clearly.  What I don’t recall with any certainty is whether my lamp was the pink and black one and Carrie’s the aqua blue and grey one, or the other way around.  When I picture us in the December dark, I can see either lamp in my hand.  I remember them both.

I don’t know what happened to my genie lamp.  I do know I loved it, played with it, kept it on the floor by my bed and close by on my dresser at various times.  I suppose I eventually outgrew it, and it was lost deep in the big cardboard toy box Carrie and I shared.  Perhaps, when I tired of it, it was given away to a younger cousin or to a daughter of one of my parents’ friends.

What does not shift in this memory of light in the dark, is the feeling of fun and play, laughter and enjoyment, friendship and love with my sister.  I feel all of this now as I write.  You can’t see me, but I am all grin like the Cheshire Cat, and I shake now and again as a laugh breaks through.

Here in this memory is joy and light and love.

When I am afraid and in the dark, all I need do is remember Carrie and me in that dark hallway, playing with the light of our genie lamps, giggling and whispering.  If I trust myself enough to allow this memory and its feeling to fill me, body, head, heart, and spirit, I can see my way here, now.   I can walk myself out of fear and the dark, back into light.

My mom-in-law, who does not know this story, found a genie lamp in a garage sale.  She bought it and gave it to me.  It sits here on my work table, a treasure among treasures.  It is exactly like the one in my memory.  Aqua blue and grey, like my sister’s lamp, or mine—that part does not matter.  To my eyes, it is the colour of light and play and laughter and love.