The winter night has wrapped a rag around your eyesIt has been a long winter of the soul these past few months. Many, many of my days have sunk like stones. In some ways October is always a rough month. Intensity at work, exhaustion at home, shorter daylight hours - all these things work together to make it hard to see each morning's new mercies.
And stolen your sight
Oh you seem so far away
I hope you find your way back someday
I miss you, I miss you
Some days set your world on fire
And some days they sink like stones
That's when your heart will cry out
Until your body is numb
And the night will try to tempt you
But the day will come
October 27th would have been Emmett's 34th birthday.
Alice Walker has a volume of poetry out entitled, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing. The title alone is perfect, but the poetry is exquisite. In the preface she says
It struck me one day, while dancing, that the marvelous moves African Americans are famous for on the dance floor came about because the dancers, especially in the old days, were contorting away various knots of stress. Some of the lower-back movements handed down to us that have seemed merely sensual were no doubt created after a day's work bending over a plow or hoe on a slave driver's plantation.Those days that set my world on fire - those are the days that are most appropriately described as days where I'm overwhelmed by the desire to dance, when I crank up the music, put on my favorite apron, and make something fabulous in the kitchen or get outside and run around with Quinn like I'm still six years old. As a new creation in Christ, I am learning to contort away the various knots of my sinful nature and embrace who I was created to be. That process will be awkward, and I may end up looking like Elaine from Seinfeld more often than not.
But I'm finding that hard times not only require furious dancing, they carve out the spaces in my soul that make dancing possible. In Phantasties, George MacDonald says
As in all sweetest music, a tinge of sadness was in every note. Nor do we know how much of the pleasures even of life we owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold the deepest truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy.There is an elusive connection between truth, sorrow, and joy, but I'm pretty sure that connection has something to do with dancing. So where's my apron? This night is trying to tempt me with it's siren song, and I am weary. very weary. So it's time to get my groove on and dance until I can see daylight again because the day will come, so I might as well dance like it's already here.