When The Heart Eclipses

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Darkness cannot be fought. It can only be neutralized — gently pushed away from, like a boat into the lake of what you actually are.

At a certain point, you must abandon your precise attention to the bad things of this world. They are what they are: undifferentiated, bleak. The details that anguish you do not matter much in the end. They can only be measured by the totality with which you reject them.

Once and for all and every day, I reject my own pain. Though it will continue to show up in what seems like new waves and new colors, I abandon my allegiance to it. I have found my center. Here I can redefine anything that comes to me. I can take ugliness and create something from it — spun glass out of the crudeness of another’s pain.

Choosing what you perceive is not about staring at some ugly street, forcing yourself to appreciate its one flower. It’s about transcending the street, ugly or beautiful, letting this changing world be a backdrop for your purpose.

Today I remind myself, go lightly. There is a sense of beauty in the world that’s conspiring to work with you if you want it to. But though beauty is a divine right, it’s not an entitlement. This is a place of duality. Half-good, half-bad, and nothing is exempt.

When you are done wrestling your pain, you can finally start being yourself — the person you ignored because you turned all the lights off in your own house. Forgive the world for having to set you on fire so you could see. You spat on the candles, shattered light bulbs, chopped down trees meant only for kindling. But now, perhaps, you will stop trying to find solace in this ugly world without your own light.

When you are at your dimmest, what endures? If you are covered up, like the sun during an eclipse, what is your corona distinguished by? Light? Color? Heat? Darkness can be difficult. But it is what is left of us in those moments that distinguishes us. We watch an eclipse not because the sun will disappear, but because we know it will come back.

Go into your pain with grace. Breathe into your power. Maybe you will scream before you dance. But the important thing is to follow the path of what feels like home till everything blurs, colors brighten, and just breathing is an act of creation. Find the people who reflect what your most beautiful life looks like. Hard love, heady compassion, soft beauty, burning creativity.

What are you passionate about today? What intoxicating feeling is looking for you?

The sun is wise to not burn itself up fighting the moon. After all, its purpose is elsewhere, waiting patiently. And though the fate of everything bright is to be eclipsed, the fate of the eclipsed is always to be reborn.

Melissa Slayton is from Summerville, South Carolina, and has a degree in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. Her poems and stories can be found in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, San Pedro River Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Apalachee Review, Pinesong, South Carolina Yearbook, Rebelle Society, and the Artist Unleashed, among others. She is an assistant editor with Vine Leaves Press, and has attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and the Hub City Writing-In-Place Conference as the recipient of the Poetry Society of South Carolina’s Summer Scholarship. You could contact her via her website.

Melissa Slayton is from Summerville, South Carolina, and has a degree in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. Her poems and stories can be found in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, San Pedro River Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Apalachee Review, Pinesong, South Carolina Yearbook, Rebelle Society, and the Artist Unleashed, among others. She is an assistant editor with Vine Leaves Press, and has attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and the Hub City Writing-In-Place Conference as the recipient of the Poetry Society of South Carolina’s Summer Scholarship. You could contact her via her website.

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Source: Rebelle Society