In Praise of Sweet Darkness was written by Shepherd Bliss, an educator and Vietnam War-era veteran who owns Kokopelli Farm in Sepastopol, California. In the early 1990s, Bliss was tired of the city and bought the farm as a weekend retreat. Later he moved there full time, and grows "labor-intensive, delicious and healthy, organic boysenberries."
Given that my depressions are seasonal, and I begin feeling depressed in October and it gets worse and worse as the days grow shorter and the sky darkens, I was particularly interested in this essay about darkness. Bliss writes:
"Sweet darkness is one of the many psychological lessons I have learned about in the past 15 years of farming. Darkness is a door. When opened, it can provide access to gifts, treasures, insight, and wisdom. The dark door may appear locked or formidable, but keys exist to open it. What waits on the other side of that door may be helpful. Although phrases such as 'in the dark,' are meant to be negative, actually being in the dark can be a creative, even illuminating place to be, offering alternative perspectives.
"...Darkness can be fruitful. The lively steamy compost fields on my farm are full of spent plants, chicken manure, kitchen scraps, and a wide variety of decaying organic matter. That compost nourishes my berries, apples and other plants, giving them life. Everything that lives perishes--individuals, relationships, nations, empires, species, even planets. Other living things grows from what remains of the departed. I see this natural cycle every day on the farm and have come to appreciate its healing growth-inducing powers."Recently, I have learned that sometimes it's better for me to read something and live with it rather than analyze it. So, while the above passages have taught me to think about the seasonal changes in a different way, that's all I have to say about it for now.
Any thoughts on this?