Shadow and Light

The equinox, which I name High Spring, is upon us.

To me, this is a happy time of innocence and play. A time for bright colors and candy and finally—finally—having light in the evenings and a sun warm enough to feel on my skin.

But today, I am so sad. So disturbed.

The white supremacist murder sprees at two mosques in New Zealand are simply sickening. That we have people so damaged, so filled with hatred in this world just breaks my heart.

Half light, half darkness. That’s the equinox.

And the world itself, it seems.

The extraordinary poet W.S. Merwyn died yesterday as well, after a long and productive life. In perhaps his most famous poem, “Thanks”, he reminds us of this, of the gratitude and the horror, better than ever I could.

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
taking our feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
thank you we are saying and waving
dark though it is

And so I wish you the joy of the season, with the acknowledgement that the darkness comes, as well.

We sit, balanced on the knife edge of the year, before the long fall into light.

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