12.19.2006

Giving Thanks
Our community celebrates Advent with an advent spiral: a long string of pine boughs strung together in a spiral that takes our entire Community Hall. Woven into the boughs are small tokens like roses, rocks, feathers and shells, and in the center of the spiral is a low stump with a candle.

A spiral walk is held with the Community Hall darkened, and with only the candle at the center of the spiral to light the way. You walk the spiral with an unlit candle, light your candle from the center of the spiral, and then proceed to walk out. At some point in the spiral you place your candle along the spiral.

This is done in silence and with reverence, but without any overt religious references, leaving those of us who are largely ignorant of their history (like, ahem, myself) free to apply their own metaphors and meaning to the walk.

It is a powerful experience to be seated in a dark room and watch a group of people walk the spiral. You walk in darkness until reaching the light, which in turn alights your own personal candle.. And at some point, before exiting the circle, you have to place the candle and walk away. But one by one, the candles collect on the spiral, until all the boughs, shells, rocks and roses are illuminated by the collective candlelight.

Like I wrote, the metaphor well is deep on this one.

For myself, this year, it stood as a metaphor for a life well lived. From a central source, your own light of passion or interest is kindled, but while it is alight you are nearly blinded by its proximity and brilliance. You take the passion/interest and put it to use in your life, and then proceed back into darkness.

This is interesting to me because it suggests that it is not the person that matters, but the enlivened interest they ignite from life. It is not the person, but the deeds born out of passion that remain, illuminating the darkness for others. And when taken together, the collective light reveal the beauty concealed in life. Not us, but our love.

Maybe. It’s just a metaphor, after all.

Love from the Rockies,
//H

9 Comments:

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Maybe. It’s just a metaphor, after all.

But quite beautifully put, nonetheless.

Excellent stuff. Excellent.

Happy holidays to you and your family!

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Woah, where've you been, H?

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

"Whoa, where've you been, H?"

What is the sound of one hand typing? ;) Buried under editing and deadlines. Hope to peak my head out mid-January.

//H

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Ah yes. Never forget, people, that editors have deadlines, too. :D

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger jess said...

Harley,
From CSU and Paris on the Poudre 1996-7?
If so, wow! You're all over the place. I though of you today as I listen to Men Without Hats.
Congrats and Happy Holidays.
J. Emmitt (I was your waitress, skate-friend, and sweetheart)

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Jw said...

Make sure you leave time to read the Monograph

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Jess,

Of all people, I won't forget who you are. :)

Warm wishes to you, Travis and the rest of the family.

Willy has a job in NC, so maybe we'll cross paths some night. Till then, take care of yourself, Zebra.

//H

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger Rick said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful post. This one sings, and I'm glad I caught it before the melody faded.

Happy Holidays to you & yours Harley.

 
At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Cathedral said...

Happy Holidays!

 

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