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Blog, depression, personal story

Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice occurred this morning at 5:45am GMT. I wasn’t at Stonehenge to see the sun rise, though apparently 36,500 people were. Nor, later in the morning, was I at church. I was at home instead.

On this, the Longest Day (and thus, last night was the Shortest Night), I find myself caught between two worlds and once again, not fully belonging in either. Atheist friends (including my partner) no doubt will roll their eyes in exasperation at this; “She’s off again….” More spiritually-inclined friends will be more sympathetic – or at least, less blatant in their eye-rolling. My teenaged daughters will complain, “Oh Mum, when are you going to make your mind up??”

Whichever way I turn, I feel as though I am letting people down in their expectations of me. Those who have not been in this position cannot know just how uncomfortable this doubt truly is. I envy those whose faith is firm and unwaverung – and yes, even those who have no faith – because at least their sleeping and waking moments are not spent caught up in a miasma of doubt which cannot be shared with anyone else save through the uncertain and unclear medium of written words on a blog. It’s not something I’ve ever felt really able to freely discuss in person – perhaps because the pain of spiritual uncertainty is a very internal, personal, private thing. And yet that pain affects those around me; it colours my perceptions and my reactions to people and situations on a subconscious level. It affects my mood; and in turn my mood affects me  on the spiritual level as much as the emotional one.

Somehow it seems fitting that the Solstice coincides with the dark of the moon; the seeming absence of the moon makes the night all the more dark despite its brevity.


About arkadyrose

Genderqueer artist, singer, musician, writer, tailor, mead-mazer and doll crafter living in Walthamstow, NE London.


5 thoughts on “Summer Solstice

  1. I get it. I think a couple of people in my uni classes on spirituality also get it. It is hard for someone brought up in a protestant culture to reconcile the faith of their childhood with the need for something more complex and nature based later on, and especially for a Christianity that includes the idea of the divine feminine. Gosh that sounds a bit presumptive, but that’s been my experience. It has helped me a lot to look at the way Central and South American Christianity, Catholocism really, includes and renames local pagan elements. It has also helped me to feel less conflicted to find out that Mahayana Buddhism does the same thing and IMHO strengthens its teachings.

    Also, there is always the problem of separating the expectations of the spiritual community from your own expectations and those of the devine.

    Posted by Annette | Monday, June 22, 2009, 7:39 am
  2. I fear I’m in the group that just doesn’t get it.

    My attitude is really quite simple: if it’s real, it can be proved. Until then, if someone can’t prove it, it’s safest to consider it’s not real.

    There simply is no good solid evidence that stands up for souls, afterlife, spirits, gods, reincarnation, any psychic powers at all, auras, healing, the efficacy of prayer, etc. etc.

    Any of it.

    There is nothing.

    If you take a hard, rational view of the world, it’s actually quite simple, clear and easy. It renders lots of questions some find tough easy.

    What we have is all we’ve got. There was nothing before, there’s nothing after. There’s no meaning to it, no reason, no creator or cause.

    The world is still filled with beauty and mystery and wonder, without any need for anything supernatural.

    I recommend it. It cuts away a lot of the crap and lets one focus on what’s important.

    And FWIW, I went to the Solstice at Stonehenge in ’07. It was interesting, but in no way numinous or magical and I don’t feel any urge to repeat the experience, TBH, apart from enjoying the day out with friends.

    Posted by Liam Proven | Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 2:16 pm
    • Sadly, I just can’t live like that. It would be nice if I could; certainly I would be spared a lot of heartache. But I can’t. Believe me, I’ve tried.

      Posted by arkadyrose | Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 2:21 pm
  3. I can’t live like that either. I have relatives with that view, in the face of others’ experiential evidence to the contrary, let alone the Word of God the Creator and His Son Jesus Christ. It seems such a losing streak, to adopt a nihilist perspective. Nothing to live for doesn’t seem much of a life. The Bible has some very poignant verses addressing the problem of doubt. A narrative in the Gospel of Mark (chapter 9:14-27) tells of a father who pleaded with Jesus to heal his son. The disciples had been unable to do so. Jesus commented on the lack of faith of the disciples. “Everything is possible for they who believe.” The father took this to heart and cried out:”Lord, I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” The child was healed. I see this statement as encapsulating many people’s spiritual position. They want to believe but somehow cannot. The cry of the heart which says to God, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” is one that God is not afraid to hear. He is never afraid or reluctant to hear and help our honest difficulties. There may or may not be immediate relief, revelation or sudden highs of ‘knowing’ that one does believe and it is all worthwhile. However, the Lord Jesus Christ is close to those who suffer in any way, especially with spiritual difficulties. Satan delights in re-inforcing the negative in our lives, this can often feel likee there is no hope or that God is somehow not interested. Satan is a deceiver and needs to be resisted. “Resist the devil and he will flee” (James 4:7). Arkady, if you wish to email me privately perhaps we can talk more on this. May God bless and strengthen you as you grapple with these issues. Helen

    Posted by Helen | Friday, June 26, 2009, 1:08 pm
  4. “Whichever way I turn, I feel as though I am letting people down in their expectations of me.”

    I think the clue to your disquiet is in this statement. Your faith is a private matter between you and your God. Your God, not theirs. Faith is something you have, not something you do for other people to make them happy or to keep the social compact.

    Posted by Pat Cadigan | Monday, June 29, 2009, 10:46 am

Arkady Rose

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