Light vs. Dark

Today, I have the great pleasure of introducing guest blogger, Eliza Fayle who believes all women over forty are fun, intelligent, sexy, and real.  (A concept it took me almost fifty years to realize!)
 
Through Silver & Grace, as a magazine editor, jewelry designer, and intuitive mentor, she guides women as they shine the light on all four of these qualities. You can find her at silverandgrace.com and while there, be sure to join the Silver & Grace Community by signing up for the newsletter. I highly recommend visiting and joining the Silver & Grace community.



I am really not keen on winter. Not keen at all. This is particularly challenging, because in my section of Canada, the snow and cold can move in the beginning of November and not leave until the end of March. That is five whole months! Blech.

However, I love the concept of winter.

I am a firm believer that without darkness there is no light. I love stories that demonstrate this concept, and my favourite comes from a brilliant, albeit short run, animated TV series called God, The Devil, and Bob.

The premise of the show is that poor Bob, an ordinary human, is caught up in a bet between God and the Devil. In my favourite episode, God forgets to acknowledge the Devil's birthday. The Devil is upset by this slight and retreats to Hell. He takes up painting and invites Martha Stewart in to decorate. And he's not coming out!

Meanwhile, up on Earth, humans are wandering around haplessly. There is no strife or challenges in their life. All the good things completely lose their meaning, because there is nothing to compare them to. Worse yet, everything stagnates. No new ideas are generated and spiritual and personal growth comes to a standstill.

God becomes frantic and begs Bob to get the Devil back in action. Meanwhile, the Devil has become melancholy and no longer enamored with painting and Martha Stewart's frilly curtains and perfectly arranged centerpieces. Easy sell for Bob, the Devil goes back to work, and balance is restored on Earth.

Okay, a totally silly example, but to summarize:

  • Light forgets to acknowledge the importance of Darkness 
  • Darkness ceases to exist and the world is thrown out of balance 
  • Light and Darkness recognize they need to work together 
  • Balance is restored

Both my garden and I need Light and Darkness to be balanced.

The literal winter gives my plants a rest. It also kills some non-hardy ones off. The plants that are reborn in the spring were meant to be in my garden. Those that die off are not.

My periods of figurative winter give me a much-needed rest from the frantic go-go-go of creativity. As I come out of these periods, ideas are reborn into something new and wonderful, and I put effort into them. Other ideas are killed off, which simply means they are not worth my time and energy.

I have greatly enjoyed my recent period of figurative winter. I took the time to kill off some ideas that are no longer my focus. I also created some wonderful new ones. Now I am ready to shine light on them and help them grow.

As for literal winter, well, let's just say it is time to restore some balance. Both my gardens are more than ready for spring.





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Comments

Kathy Riccillo said…
I agree with what you say, Eliza! There are two sides to everything and opposites abound. Compromise between opposites bring about balance, sometimes equally, sometimes a bit off, but that's how it works best.
We all need to put aside things to make room for the more important and meaningful items. This is true for the entire world, which would stop all the strife around us!
Eliza said…
Hi Kathy,

Agreed. If we all acknowledged that we should embrace differences what an incredibly balanced world we would have!
Kathy said…
Ah! And when winter dissolves, it makes me appreciate spring and light that much more. What's more, when I'm in a "winter frame of mind," I tend to stagnate. It's like I need a change of season to kick start me back into doing, thinking, feeling and being more creative. Change of season = change of mind!
Margo Dill said…
What a great attitude! I love it Silver and Grace. I liked reading about women over 40 because I just recently turned 40 with a 4 month old baby to boot! :) We are both SO ready for spring.

Thanks!
Margo
http://margodill.com/blog/
Kath Fearing said…
Eliza, The eternal yin and yang of life: darkness and light. What would any of my stories be if all were light and happy. My characters needed to go through a period of darkness so that when they saw the light they knew how precious it was. I have often thought that the sun worshipers of ancient history had it right in many ways. Light brings life. But without the darkness would we appreciate it as much? I think not. Hope your spring comes soon and stays long.
Jen said…
I know this too well. After the go-go-go gets me I literally and figuratively have to shut down so I am able to refocus. After that period of still I can prune my garden, so to speak, and then focus, I mean really focus, on what I need and want to do rather than on what I think I should do. I'm ready for spring.
Elizabeth said…
Eliza,
Your writing is lovely. And I do agree with your points to a certain extent. I am a firm believer in compromise to create balance and equilibrium. Extremes in nature as well as in human dealings are never really a good thing. People expose themselves to extreme thinking in politics and religious beliefs, extreme treatment to physical and emotional ailments, etc. However, spring and winter don't seem to be polar opposites to me. Spring, like fall, is a transitional time between winter and summer. Here in Maine atleast, it is often gray and rainy and things begin to get ready to grow but summer is when things really come to life. Perhaps it's just semantics. I do understand and agree with your point. Acknowledging the darkness of winter makes us appreciate the light of our "light season." We can't truly have one without the other. I enjoy that message. Thanks for sharing.
Linda said…
What thoughtful comments you have all made! Thanks to each of you for taking the time to read and post a comment.

I have stayed quite wanting to see what everyone else would say on this part of our trip through creativity.

I so agree with Eliza. For me there is both Light and Dark in the process of my writing. Some days are filled with light and the words flow. Other days are dark and cloudy with nothing to offer.

In my old age, I have learned that both are necessary. I know honor those cloudy, dark days, allowing myself time to renew, rejuvenate and re-create.

I have to say, that when winter comes, I love it, at first, by March I am done with it. I want, I crave, I need spring! The past two days have been glorious...warm winds, sunshine, Mother Earth showing herself once again with little buds pushing out of the ground. Amazingly, I am happy, excited, and full of ideas to create.

Ah, Spring!
Lauren said…
I love the story from the animated TV series God, The Devil, and Bob. It's so true. You can't have darkness without light. My mind wavers between the two. I love to write humor, as well as dark short stories.

Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. He uses a lot of humor in his horror. Humor works well because it gives a reader a false sense of security just before King introduces a new horrifying plot point.
Eliza said…
@Kathy - interesting about stagnating. When any season (literal or figurative) goes on too long, we become complacent and lethargic. It still has not warmed up here, so I had to give myself a serious boot in the butt to start my 1/2 marathon race training. Out I went all miserable. You know what I discovered? Despite the cold, trees and shrubs are starting to pump up their buds. Well, if they can force spring then so can I :-)
Eliza said…
@Margo - oh congrats! What a thrill it will be to rediscover the great outdoors through the eyes of your baby. I was an empty nester by age forty so at 48 I am more than ready to move into the next 'season' of grandparenting.
Eliza said…
@Kath re: when they saw the light they knew how precious it was. Oh that's an awesome statement. What have you written?
Eliza said…
@Jen - you just described being an introvert. It means you need solitude to recharge your batteries. People think I am an extrovert because I am comfortable with people, have nooooo trouble speaking up (grin), and can be quite the clown. However, too much of that and I lose focus and need to crawl back into my cave to recharge.
Eliza said…
@fellow Elizabeth :) - I totally agree! Extremes are not the best. As my mother always says "Everything in moderation" I live in a country of extreme weather. It can be plus 40 Celsius in the summer and minus 40 Celsius in the winter. It can be hard to take. Just like being in a relationship that constantly runs hot and cold. It can be draining quite toxic. I believe we are saying the same thing ... it's just hard to put too fine a point on something in 500 words :)
Eliza said…
@Lauren - there is humour to be found even in dark situations. I do not mean malicious humour or making fun of someone else's misfortune. I mean looking back at our own life challenges and picking out the elements that can make us laugh at ourselves.

I think brilliant writers are ones who can make us look at our own human foibles and get us to seriously lighten up on ourselves through the use of humour.
Eliza said…
@dearest Linda - what do you mean in your old age? You are one of the 'youngest' women I have the honour to know.

Thank you so much for inviting me to participate here. You have an awesome community.
Linda said…
Dear, dear Eliza,

Thank you for being part of my look at creativity. As always, your wisdom and grace shines through your writing. Thank you for your gracious comments.

Happy Spring!!
Alv0808 said…
I always says to other that turning 40 is a greatest age at all..and I do love to be in that age..although Im in early 30's but I adored woman on that stage..have a blessed day
Mich said…
Eliza, I agree, we need darkness to appreciate the light, especially when writing stories. It's the strife, the hardship and the difficulties that give the learning, overcoming and happiness their meaning. But I could use a little less darkness and a lot more light when it comes to the winter! Thank you for sharing with us.
Eliza said…
@ALV0808 - when I was your age (I will be 48 in May) I said the exact same thing. I greatly admired my female friends over forty. They had it together. Then I turned forty and POOF it started to happen to me too. Why? Because you realize life is way too short to waste. It truly is a beautiful period of life.
Eliza said…
@Mich - very good point about the learning aspect. I have learned great things in my periods of darkness. As for literal winter darkness, I am so with you on this one. Bring on the sun! :)
junebug said…
Excellent post. I love winter but I really don't care for the day to day strife of shoveling, bundling and scraping. Great for vacations but I don't want to live there. That is pretty much how I feel about my life. Darkness is fine to visit so I can appreciate the light in my life because I sure don't want to live there. Too much shoveling and scraping. Of course, I can just read great posts to remember. Saves some time when someone can shine the light for me.
Linda said…
@ Alv...Every age is special, but as Eliza said, after 40 we have much more wisdom! Blessings!

@Mich...Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I with you, bring on spring! I am about darkened out! Hugs!

@Junebug...Thanks for your comments. Glad you found some "light" here. As it is with light of any type, one little spark and soon the whole place is glowing! Your comment added to the Light of my day!!

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