My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
I could dissect this poem, line by line, pondering its possible meanings with regard to Edna’s life and writing. But this is not a lit class, it’s a blog. So I won’t. Also, I don’t want to.
It’s here today because the words are speaking to me and I need to share them.
Right now, I choose to see this poem as a reminder.
To a person who is working too much, overwhelmed and exhausting herself, who knows she cannot keep this up much longer, who addresses those who support her as well as those who do not. In the end, regardless of this knowledge, she cannot help but say how lovely it all is.
I feel these words deeply.
Watch as I go down in flames and see how beautiful the fire is.
How goddamn beautiful.
Life is difficult and stressful and a strange beauty emerges in those moments. If we look. And when we find it, we need to share it. Shout it out to friends and foes.
There is beauty in the moments of madness.
My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.
Are you going through a difficult time? Have you taken on too much? Could you use a break? I’ve got nothing. Sorry. No tips. No fix. Just support, solidarity, and a little bit of poetry.
In many cultures, past and present, this day is a promise of release from the dreary darkness and bitter cold of winter. Beneath the frozen earth, life stirs. This midwinter celebration, halfway between the first day of winter and the first day of spring, gives us hope.
Like watching your children grow, you look up one morning and say, “When did you get so tall?” Those extra minutes of sunlight each day since the Winter Solstice have accumulated. Lift your eyes, look around, become aware of the light. The lengthening of days is a slow process—but the change is now noticeable.
The guilt of what we did “wrong” last year and the pressure to make resolutions to better ourselves is associated with the New Year.
This first day of February offers a fresh start. It is about new beginnings. It brings knowledge that the seeds we planted are deep within—there is life underneath the frost and snow. These plants will soon break through the soil, reaching and growing.
Trust that there is life in the darkness and there you will find hope.
Where there is darkness, find the light. Where there is cold, find the warmth.