This is the winter solstice, exact at 3:21AM this morning in the Pacific Northwest. I awoke at 2, and remembered the buzz around the “end of the Mayan Calendar,” so I got up to ring in the end, and get ready for the beginning.
In the spirit of current worldwide worries, I decided to write that last hour as if there would actually be an end, that this was it, game over. It wasn’t difficult to notice that if the world ended there would be no one to receive my farewell notes. I forged ahead, anyway—thought I might learn something. I looked around for regrets, or a sense of accomplishment, some kind of lists. Nothing struck a chord. What I found was that I am content. If this were the end this, life lived would be enough.
In the middle of that freewrite, with half an hour to go, a line from Theodore Roethke came to me:
“What’s madness but nobility of soul/ At odds with circumstance?”
The line is from IN A DARK TIME one of his great mystical poems. I went to the poem to imbibe the rest. You can read it [here].
On this day—the winter’s darkest—and in this year—that marks the beginning of the Mayan ninth wave—the poem seemed written just for this moment. My friend David Pond, wrote that in the ninth wave… “Consciousness begins to manifest from the Unity Wave, also being called the conscious co-creation level, ‘oneness’.”
Unity wave, that’s where we are. Look at those closing lines from “In a Dark Time”:
…Which I is I ?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind.
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.
I don’t know what Roethke intended with that poem, and it doesn’t matter. It can easily be interpreted as the crying out of an individual mind pulling itself (or being pulled) out of itself, and into conjunction with a larger sense of Being consciousness, one with all.
What’s contentment, then, but nobility of soul aligned with circumstance? I know nothing of the Mayan waves, and very little about the inspiring poems of Theodore Roethke. But I know his words touch something at the core, well beyond the ability of words to fully contain. “Nobility of soul” is everywhere I look. We are still here, still alive.
Art and Practice
Don Freas is an artist, writer, and poet in Olympia, Washington.