I think the words that most sum up this strange and painful yet blessed and joyful year of endings and beginnings, loneliness and new friendships, grief and beauty come from T.S. Eliot's "East Coker, III"
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon youSo I say goodbye Coyote Year and I wait ... without hope, without love, without thought ... in stillness knowing, and I admit it ... at least hoping, the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away—
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing—
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
About the Image: Jellyfish from the Monterey Aquarium. They always seem like they are swimming upside down ... which seems like a good metaphor for this year.