It’s easy to rely on the Gods when you’re happy, neutral or even a bit sad. You speak and feel Spirit, listening attentively. You feel Brighid’s hand on your back, the green embrace of the world and its creatures. Angry, you feel the Morrigan’s sword in your hands, her cloak of black feathers. Darker spirits, those with teeth and claws, lope at your side,
In despair’s black depths, however, we are often alone. There is a wall, nebulous but there, we cannot scale ourselves — and no other can scale, divine or human. We feel the arms around us, but not truly; the core part of ourselves remains behind that wall in an unlit room.
I’m thinking of that horrible old joke: How many Jewish grandmothers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? “None. I’ll just sit here in the dark.” When we’re in despair, we sit in the grandmother’s worn old chair.
(Nothing against Jewish grandmothers, by the way. Certainly, guilt-tripping is not an ethnically or religiously linked phenomenon.”)
The wall defines despair. Without it, we may be sad, gloomy or otherwise miserable, but we’re still a part of cosmic community. When touched, we can feel.
So, how do you dissolve a wall you cannot climb?
My partner has to remind me of Brighid, gentle Brighid, and how she never fails me and is never disappointed in her priestess. Point out my good qualities on their own, and I won’t hear them inside the room’s acoustics. But Brighid’s fire — or even just the memory of it — is enough to dispel the dark, at least for me.
Dissolving the wall takes patience and support from those on the other side. But it first and foremost takes a light from within — a light sprung from hope, from a deep-seated belief that dawn comes, that nothing is ever wasted in the realm of knowledge and experience. A belief that none of us are disposable, no matter the pundits and the marketing.
How do you kindle your flame in the dark?