“As the nighttime bleeds into the day
tomorrow spills across the sky
And the sun’s a harsh reminder why
we are feeling barely human.”                                           Grip- Seeb & Bastille

Welcome to the desert.

There’s the obvious: yes, water and food are difficult to come by.  Lots of normal things won’t work: WiFi—pens, meditation, seatbelts, the oven, in fact save yourself the energy of being surprised.

Sunsets and rises you’ll be fine, even happy— alone, midday heat, midnight cold you’ll manage.  It’s late afternoon and the end of third watch when you need someone.  Pay attention to who you meet.

I won’t romanticize it, but well, you’ll see.  Sure, find the beauty etc. etc., soon enough that will let you know who the newcomers are—if you run across anyone.  Best to just listen and wait. 

You’ll know the one.  And remember don’t be afraid.  As an exile yourself, any enemies you make are your choice here on out.  It’s one way to survive, I suppose.  You see the ones delirious with mirage and always clamoring about the oasis?  Making somewhere else to be leads to making someone else to blame and if that’s your thing, you’ll find plenty of company.

Anyways, about the cold dark morning.  Your first encounter will be mistaken for singularity, everyone does it.  You’ll think if you work now you’ll never have to do this again, that you’ve found the way out.  So, when it happens next, best begin a playful tally of dark-before-dawn days you wish you’d never known.  Moon and Sun and Time bring no judgments to the world’s turning.  It helps to remember this when you swing your feet to the floor.

But, when tempted with gravity to collapse on the ground—consider the birds, little babblers.  Watch them dance in the dust those mornings.  Their eggs are the blue of shallow water if you’re parched for color.  You’ll be jealous, watching community ease survival, but notice—they depend on two.  One stands watch high in the branches, open to sky and prey, a decoy or herald of danger, and the other, their mate (the group’s only couple) shares the tasks to protect and defend the little flock.

Your only task is here.  Learn the dance between surface and depth every mourning, make oxygen holy communion.  I know, the loss of faith and hope and joy, perhaps love too are more than one is able to bear.  Go ahead and say it, ‘peace, peace, there is none.’  You are alone.  Only you are welcome here.  Only you are here.  Only you can welcome here.

If you’ve watched the birds though, you’ll soon notice the companions.  One’s presence heavy like a winter coat in a storm, cherished and bundled up with nothing, soothing like a shot of whiskey in the chest, drifting to the limbs.  They’ll make days a trance and the night so welcome, creating a shelter of sorts.  This caretaker is one who is not waiting for anything because whatever happened already arrived.  Rest with them supporting your feet on the cold morning floor, watch how tenderly they gather the scattered remains of prayers you need not lift anymore.  Some people think the name’s acceptance—to soften truth, but it’s not.  This is despair.  You’d rather it was someone else, I know.  You may think you need hope instead, but you are weary and hope is permanent disruption, despair is the beloved’s scar and you’re going to need both to get anywhere.

Rest awhile.

When you’re ready… Hope is standing in the flame of desire you are finally able to allow presence.  Despair is bowing to the weight of sorrow you are finally willing to bring presence.  These two are lovers, like the birds, and together they guard exiles in movement and rest.

This is the desert, hot and cold, faith, doubt, joy, grief, hope and despair, all together waiting as love moves peace through polarity.  Welcome the desert.

Welcome Advent.

“This is already bigger than love.”                                              Bigger than love- Oh Wonder