Saturday, July 16, 2016

Counting back to light



It feels like we will never be the same sometimes. I understand.

Because we won't and we aren't, already. How our life changes and changes us, so swiftly, every day, so that we are swept up, often mercifully unaware, just breathing, moving through.

A wise friend counseled me not long ago that sometimes, there are no answers. I wanted so desperately to understand what had happened in my life, to get that knowledge all under control so that I could heal but I couldn't. Because the answers were not mine to give. And finally, I can only be responsible for myself.

These are dark times. Since the Thursday night terrorist attack in Nice, I have been crying and praying. I collapsed on my knees from the pain and buried my head into the seat of my reading chair like a child, spent. 

One night, right before I left Provence, she gave me an au revoir sunset. Spectacular. I leaned out of the window from the room of my own and photographed each phase until night. I sat with the weight of my shattered heart and every time I have looked at these photos since then, I am taken directly back to those emotions of deep loss and fear. And yet I kept them. 

Yesterday, I realized that we could reverse their order and count back to the beginning, to light.

And in so doing, we can gently remove layer after layer of the veils that cover our truest nature. 
Love.

Therein lies the path to sanity - one that I need to consciously be on right now - and eventually, through our grieving, to Peace.

There is no room to apologize for what might sound overly sentimental in emergencies such as these, so I will just say, "I need you. Can we do this together?" Ok, then, thank you. Here we go.










To Peace.

I am sending you all so much love and strength right now. It is all I know to do. My prayers are for all of us, for those directly touched by this unspeakable tragedy in my beautiful adopted country and beyond.


 



       
I have been listening to this album by Moby before going to bed. It has helped me. I find the first movement especially beautiful. You can find it for free by clicking here.

 On Thursday, I stayed up late praying and meditating. I use the Insight Timer app on my phone and one of the things that I really appreciate about it is that I can see who else is using it at the same moment all over the world. Well, at around 2am, I could see so many people waking up in France and joining me, far more than I had ever seen online before. That gave me so much hope. It is our instinct to survive and find our way out of the darkness, be it personal or collective. I only have an inkling of "why" we are being put through such trials but again, having an answer is not really the solution. 

We are.









60 comments:

Judith Ross said...

Heather, this post takes my breath away. And I feel better for having experienced it. Thank you. The horror in Nice has me reeling, too. And I agree, the solution is us.

Emm said...

When in despair with fortune and men's eyes (to misquote gleefully), I try to back away for a bit, get some perspective. We live so much in a 24/7 world, where the horrors are flung at us non-stop, that it becomes too much to bear. I turn everything off from time to time.
I grieve for France, too, and for all the people whose lives are being shattered by the wars of the Middle East. And I reflect on how very privileged I am to live in a place of prosperity and security.
Your photographs are glorious. Just by posting those, you are doing something to bring peace and beauty into the world.

Julie Bresette said...

Yes, we will go through this together. It is an honor. Thank you for your sentiments of love and peace.

Joan McKniff said...

Yes we can. Count on me.

Judi of Little House said...

I don't want to sound glib, but "I'm in!" I have to find my positive light, my heart truly needs to stay open, even though it is hurting right now. Such a tragedy as in Nice just taps into all my loss and sorrow wells up for what those dear family and friends are going through in Nice and their loved ones around the world. Thank you for your light!

Fairy Kitty said...

Dear Heather, I do not know what happened to break your heart, my heart was also broken into a million pieces and I too just wanted to understand and know the "why?"
At the end I let it go because I had no control about what happened only how I would choose to react to it and it helped me move on.
I too was overwhelmed by sadness when once again we were witnesses to hate and the destruction of precious lives. The world is hurting and we need to band together for all corners of it and concentrate on the light on positive energy and love. I send you all of mine and wish you peace and healing.
Lourdes

Bill Facker said...

"Counting back to light" .. this heading alone scores a perfect 10 .. reminding us that where there is light, no darkness can exist. Ours is to continue focusing on that light .. filling the darkest, coldest, most desolate and dispicable regions of our reality with its soft, healing power. Mahalo et Merci for this poignant "reminder", Heather .. your "connection" benefits all of us who are fortunate enough to read these words.

Marsha Splenderosa said...

A brilliant post, Heather.
Goodness will eventually prevail, however, horrible it will be to get there.
We are all shocked & horrified, standing stock-still, praying the politics of the world can actually generate this goodness again.

Unknown said...

With you with love and condolence, Heather, and working toward better times, Leslie in Oregon

Rowan said...

Heather, thank you for your heartfelt post. There is surely a groundswell of those praying for love and peace right around the globe at this moment.
I hope you are resting and healing.
Your series of sky photos are stunning, especially when viewed as a group. Had you thought of printing some of your images and making them available for sale?
Sending you love.
Deborah - Melbourne.

D. B. Ruderman said...

thank you -- really beautiful -- not sentimental -- felt...

Jackie Clark Mancuso said...

yes we can. hand in hand.

mferrie said...

Thanks for the beautiful photos. Many are saddened and disheartened but we are praying for light and sharing love and kindness. Together in unity we will progress.
Amities, Jill

Our French Oasis said...

Beautiful words, beautiful photos, it is a time to reflect and to hug our loved ones. Bisous

Katherine said...

Your grace and light, and that of your beautiful photos, shines for all of us. You can count me in, too.

Maria Anagnostopoulou said...

we choose light!

francetaste said...

How appropriate that "to peace" is an olive branch.
You have a knack for eloquently saying what we're feeling.

Daniel Storto said...

Both Sides Now. Joni Mitchell. Clouds.

robin said...

Yes, these are dark times. Hard to not have answers, and hard to see personal difficulty mirrored in the world - so overwhelmingly sad. I'm glad these painful photos could give us some hope. Can we do this together? Yes, we can - and we are.

Silke B said...

Of course, we do this together! Those photos and the heartbreaking story that comes with them remind you and us about a highly intense moment. So good you have kept them.

Unknown said...

Oh Heather....with you...

Ali x

Loree said...

I no longer have words so I am glad that you are able to give voice to what many of us would like to say but can't. I trust your heart will slowly start to heal. Lovely photos of a beautiful sunset.

Teresa Maria said...

Thank you for this post, Heather.

La Contessa said...

THE PHOTOS ARE STUNNING AS YOU ARE.................KEEP PEDALING!
XOXO

Stephen Andrew said...

I reconnected with one of my old favorite Moby songs recently! This is beautiful. Those intense colors. it's important to still see beauty despite all the ugliness.

Heather Robinson said...

I hope that you are right, Emm. That is the idea. Or it was anyway. I still haven't thanked you yet for your previous response - so thank you for both...and for the excuse to read Sonnet 29 again. It did me good. :)

And I hit a wall on Friday with the sadness of the information and so have been giving myself permission to take a step back too. It doesn't always help, this constant awareness.

Heather Robinson said...

Then we are together in agreement yet again. I hope all is going well as you search for solutions yourself. Important ones...

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you, Julie. The honor is mine.

Heather Robinson said...

I do, Joan.

Heather Robinson said...

Judi, I can imagine how this would be especially sad for you Judi. Sending a warm hug...

Heather Robinson said...

Lourdes, I have wanted to email you for a long time. Especially as I think that we have a lot in common beyond our mutual friendship with one of the world's most amazing women. Your perspective and phrasing here only reinforces that sentiment although (and I knew this from your comments at HSD) I am truly sorry that you have been through heart-break as well. I am going to try and find an email for you through your profile. If you don't hear from me and happen to check back here would you mind writing me at robinsonheather at yahoo dot com? With much love and light right back to you,
H

Heather Robinson said...

Much Mahalo to you, Bill and I feel the same about my connection to such a wise and wonderful friend as yourself.

Heather Robinson said...

Yes, Marsha. But I do think that it is also up to us to make the change as well. We can't wait much longer.
Hoping you are still happy in Hawaii,
H

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you, Leslie. Much love to you.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you for the love, Deborah and thank you for asking. I have thought for a long time about offering a few images for sale as prints. And I could really use the money! So maybe soon I will get the courage together to do so. It can't hurt to try.

And yes, I do think that there are many who are praying for peace and love too.

Heather Robinson said...

Merci, David.

Heather Robinson said...

Am very much feeling that, Jackie. Bisous.

Heather Robinson said...

I so whole-heartedly agree with you, Jill. The responses such as yours here buoy my heart with hope. Amitiés, h

Heather Robinson said...

Sending a big hug to you. Hoping that your children are handling this as well as to be expected.

Heather Robinson said...

Maybe I shouldn't be so presumptious, but I counted you in a long time ago, friend. ;)

Heather Robinson said...

Ναί!!

Heather Robinson said...

I think it is a case of my being so fortunate that like minds have somehow found me here. xo

Heather Robinson said...

You always have the perfect music suggestions, Daniel. I will listen to Clouds in the morning.

Heather Robinson said...

Love you so much, Sister.

Heather Robinson said...

I nearly deleted them so many times, Silke. Now I am glad that I didn't. It is a good reminder, somehow...

Heather Robinson said...

Bisous to you, Ali.
Did the Bambi's arrive?

Heather Robinson said...

This has taken me right back to a pretty rough place, Loree, I admit. Having the kindness from everyone here is a true balm. Just to know we are all thinking in the same direction.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you for being here, Teresa Maria. Since a long time now, thank you.

Heather Robinson said...

Head above the water. Much love to you.

Heather Robinson said...

It does a person good.
Which song?
xo
h

helen tilston said...

Hello Heather, Your images are spectacular and so perfectly fit to shed light and hope on the horrific events of Thursday. My god child and nephew lives 100 metres from Hotel Negresco in Nice and we spoke all night. He was on his way out to meet his girlfriend, following the fireworks when the mayhem started, The police had just arrived and he had to return home. His girlfriend was missing and located the following morning. She is well.

Wishing you peace, joy and hope dear Heather

Helen xx

Heather Robinson said...

Helen, I am so very grateful to hear that all involved are safe and sound but the fear that must have come out of that horrific night must have been very deep. I understand.

Thank you for your kind wishes, Helen. I hope the same for you.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Heather,

I have been following along on your journey through the darkness and into the light. I am sad that you have experienced this heartbreak and believe me when I say that I feel your pain. My heart was shattered in a million pieces just two years ago and if I may be honest I thought I might never recover. I found myself completely helpless and alone, as I do not live near family. For some time I cut everyone off except a friend, mainly because I did not want my family to worry about me when there was nothing they could do. With the help of a few good friends, a therapist, yoga and a lot of reflection I have come out the other side. For better or worse, I am not the same and sometimes that breaks my heart. I am no longer the naive,hopeful person that I used to be but I am stronger and that has to be a good thing.

Thank you for sharing your story and your courage. You are a brave woman and your posts and photos offer comfort in this crazy lonely world.

TLC said...

I loved taking the time to meander through your room. Oh! how I've longed for that. Still do.

Many moons ago, when I was struggling with leaving the Prior Husband, I was mad at me for not "seeing" it ahead of time (or, more aptly, seeing the signs and ignoring them) and also ... I had no plan! I had zero idea of what was ahead and I sort of felt like (half punitive, half practical) I had to have the map and plan in front of me before I left PH.

So my wise friend Tom said "It is your right to not know." Hmm. It stayed with me, I clung to that little pebble of wisdom and rubbed it daily or hourly, as I drove west to Seattle w/out any "reason" other than I wanted a happier life. It's sort of like that Harry Potter map that didn't reveal the path until it was dark (or some such qualifier). If you don't put the parchment on the floor, and give it tie, you won't give the magic map a chance to draw out some ideas.

xo much love

simpleimages2 said...

“back to the beginning, to light.”

Suffering is a twin of love which we will not be able to separate but only endure. Like you said and Rilke, live the questions now.

Yes. We are all created by light and to light we will return.

The sequences of photos, your narration and music are meditations by themselves.

Maria Anagnostopoulou said...

Oh Heather! thank you for replying in greek! Really heartwarming! A turkish friend of mine is in prison right now. He has two small children. Fuck...

Heather Robinson said...

Elizabeth, I am so incredibly sorry to know that this happened to you. I understand all that you have said and thank you so much for the honesty in your response, it moved me greatly.

I am in the midst of helping my Mom and her husband prepare to move but I will email you soon, if that is all right. I would really like to be in contact.

Until then, I am sending much Love and Gratitude,
H

Heather Robinson said...

You are an amazing woman, T. I am so incredibly grateful for your perspective (and Tom's) and just that you are somehow, after...28? years...still a part of my life. Not to mention that where you are at now inspires me to no end. Now, if only I could handle all of this with your perfect sense of humor...
With much love to you right back,
h

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you for this, Edgar and for the meditation that you kindly sent.

I most certainly agree with you about light...and you know that I love Rilke...but I also think of the poem by Rumi that includes..."Don't turn your head. Keep looking at the bandaged place. That is where the light enters you."

Mary said...

Thank you Heather. Your beautiful photos and words were so needed, and you inspired me to find that great app too:) Sending love