Reflections from EMERGE: A Winter Solstice Soundbath at the Ace Hotel, Chicago

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The following was something I wrote and read to begin EMERGE: A Winter Solstice Soundbath at the Ace Hotel in Chicago.

Tonight, we gather.
This, the solstice.
The longest night of the year.
The day, only a fleeting presence.
A brief and quiet reminder of what so recently was and what once again will be.
But what is now, is quiet and dark.
The two seem to require each other don’t they?

Quiet and dark. 
Dark and quiet.

Both enveloping us in necessary absence. As though shining an unlit spotlight on the unforgiving truth of what remains. 

Or, of what really is.

For many of us, this may draw forth anxiety and fear.
What is there to see when the shadows linger so close?
But for others, the wise amongst us, this time is not to be avoided, but even enjoyed. 
A natural part of nature’s rhythm and dance. It’s singularity, a unique invitation for restoration. 
Re creation. 
Wholeness.

See, darkness is where this all began.
Where we all began.
From myth to science, our story always begins with cosmic void. A mysterious darkness so deep, it could only occupied by nothing.
So much nothing that from it emerged a great sound.

A voice.

A wave.

A bang.

And from sound came we.

Somehow a reflection of the darkness that was, the origin of it all, while paradoxically shining a great light. At times diffuse, yet present forever more.

Such is this night. 
A return to the origin of we. 
A reminder of quiet essence of me. 

Such is this night.
A time to celebrate by resting in the goodness of the whole.
Our whole.

The darkest day and the darkest night.

Tonight we gather. This is the solstice.

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SWEET DARKNESS by David Whyte

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone,
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your home
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

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