Sunday, September 8, 2013

Light and Darkness

Yesterday I attended an evening in memory of a special lady, who decided to leave this world recently. It was a lovely event, organized with so much love and care. A community of beautiful people commemorating a beloved member who passed away so unexpectedly.

It brought back memories of another large mourning ritual, the funeral of a pagan leader. And I couldn't help noticing some distinct differences.

Yesterday was a new age gathering and usually I never really feel at home in this kind of setting. But this time it felt good, I admired the dedication, the love and care this community showed. Beautiful speeches full of appreciation, gratitude, humility and hope. Lovely music played by inspired and sometimes emotional artists.

What a contrast with some of the speeches at that other funeral, with a lot of self-importance and worst of all: covert vinger pointing to the person who was seen by some as the root cause of the deceased's illness. Ego boosting and back stabbing, this was my community of witches and pagans, but I did not at all feel comfortable there that night.

So yesterday I was struck by this difference between Paganism and New Age. And I thought it obvious that in New Age a lot more attention is given to personal development. In contrast with paganism where more emphasis lies on ritual skills and magic.

But on my way home I realized something had been missing on this memorial evening. Yes, this girl was enthusiastic, energetic, radiant and her smile was amazing, but. . . . . . she did take her own life.
And, though a beautiful poem about inner darkness was read and her boyfriend did talk about taking more notice of the troubles of your neighbors across the street . . . . .,  no-one spoke about how not anyone in this loving community had been able to prevent this tragedy. No-one spoke about how there could be others, dancing right beside you or even hugging you, who are also hiding an almost unbearable pain behind a lovely smile.

Light and love covering the darkness behind the masks, in one community. And ugly darkness covering the light of what had also been good, in the other.
Of course this is a black and white picture that does no justice to both groups of people. It is just my observation, frozen in this moment of time.
It leaves me with the question I've been asking myself so often lately: where are the people I can feel really at home with?

Light and dark, both present inside me. I've been fascinated by darkness for many years and loved to surround myself with people who are not afraid of dark and death, secrets and the occult. But I grew into appreciating light, love and compassion more and more.

So now where do I belong ? Somewhere in the middle I guess.
Would anyone care to join me? Please?

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