Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye Coyote Year

Coyote is a trickster and it is said when he wanders into your life, you are asked to look at something you've been avoiding. Coyote reminds us of the lessons we need to learn in order to walk our authentic path and follows us relentlessly until we get the picture. Coyote will gnaw off his own foot to get out of a trap and expects no less from us when we are in a trap of our own making. For me, 2009 was a coyote year and I hope I have learned his lessons so he can go on his merry way.

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 you
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.
So 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.

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.


  1. Thank you Joyce my lovely friend of the Coyote year.

    Like you, I now wait. Without hope, without love, without thought. I wait in stillness.

    In Gabriel Roth's Five Wave movement, Stillness is the fifth wave. We get to it through moving fearlessly through chaos into lyrical to find the stillness between the notes.

    I am between the notes, accepting darkness through light. Stillness through the dancing.

  2. I have always loved that Eliot poem and have quoted the last stanza often. It speaks to so much.

    I am amazed at how close we are all thinking today. I just wrote and posted a new poem, without having first read either yours or Louise's post. One of the lines is: "Hold the stillness/Before the coda".

    Happy New Year, dear friend. Can't wait till we all meet up.

  3. Fabulous quotation -- I thought I was a huge fan of Eliot, but I've never read that one.

    And I love the idea of a Coyote year -- will forward that to a daughter...

  4. I too am waiting, and will wait with you, dear friend.

    I'm reminded of Max ehrmann's poem, Desiterata.
    "Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence..."

    The golden rays of sunlight silently warm the body and the soul, drawing out inspiration, hope, and the desire to just "be" in the quiet of the sunbeam. Quietly, and warmly, be.