Sitting in the dark, the growing moon rising over my shoulder, watching the flames of my little fire curl around the fuel I provide. I need this sitting, this darkness and stillness and breath. I need to feel my pulse; I desperately need the assurance.

There is nothing I can say right now that makes any sense of what is happening, and not happening, in the world. I go over details in my head, try to reckon them with some past historical context, try to project future outcomes, but it is all a futile exercise. A spinning in endless circles of no reason.

All I can do right now is sit, and remember that I am alive. I am here, grounding into my body. My pain erupts in sudden fits down my face from time to time and I let it all be.

And then I remember, and I call to Her Of Many Names. I call as many of them as I can remember. I look to the flames and call Her, “She of the Leaping Flames”. I look to the moon and call Her, “She of the Far Shooting Moon”. Come to me; please come. And She is here, always here. As much as I long to, I don’t ask Her to soothe my soul, for that is not Her task. But I do ask Her to shine Her lanterns so that I might see, so that maybe more of us can see, what is possible. She knows of the journey. She knows of death, and of life, too.

She gently tells me to carry on.

The flame flickers a bit brighter, higher, as if kissed by Her breath.

I suddenly notice the cricket song and the owl and the sound of the licking flames. I take a half breath, and another, and finally a full deep into my belly breath, and let out an audible moan that rises to a tone. And then another and yet another. So much pain around and within me.

And a bit of hope that the lanterns will rise and shine a new light, a new possibility.

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