The Poetics of Light #19





The beginning of this series starts here


       After weeks of carefully picking our way through tangled brush and strenuously rising from the valley below, we have reached the summit of the high mountain. In this altitude the air is thin and crisp and all movement is considered. It’s been a rough climb breaking new trail. Looking down the mountain from this height, we now have a clear view. We can see that there are many other pathways through the brush etched like the carved rivulets of spring runoff… the trails of sure footed mountain goats.

           While on the mountain we have been engaging in the deep personal work of extricating ourselves from the gravity, the weight of empathy and the patterns of cause and effect that influence our lives. Through our relationships, our spiritual practices, our creative work, our silent listening, we have been gaining insight into our own healing path as we climb.

           We have been gaining self knowledge and have experienced that seeing a pattern reoccurring in our lives in one instance isn’t necessarily enough. Over and over insight informs us from various vantage points as we engage in our relationships and make our choices. Each time we have been acquiring new strengths to heal and resolve the suffering we have endured, for we have all suffered much. As we climb the mountain we prepare ourselves to be better able to compassionately embrace the suffering of all beings, even though our hearts are heavy with it. There is respite here at the summit, but we are needed, and our lives await us in the valley below.

           Before our return we gather together. We have broken new ground on this climb and we are being asked to acknowledge this in whatever way has meaning for us. In this conscious act of acknowledgement though, it is made known that forgiving and asking for forgiveness initiates us consciously into the healing we seek.

          We come from many spiritual disciplines. This healing path however, is deeply personal and a matter of consciousness, not necessarily of form. To forgive simply takes the desire and the understanding of the necessity to forgive. The spiritual assistance to actualize this and integrate it into our lives follows. But we ask… who are we forgiving?

           Over lifetimes we acquire many layers of unresolved suffering… many layers upon layers. We know that in life there are genuine reasons for sadness or fear. However, when we fall prey to a blinding resistance or anxiety, to negating thoughts or emotions, to extended depression, to continued confusion of fear for small things, to prolonged existential sadness, when we become numb or indifferent under the burden of circumstance, or when we find ourselves empathically reacting to another person’s suffering and making it our own, we can be alerted that there is a possible layer of unresolved trauma lending empathic weight to what is actually happening. It is in this understanding that we can find the strength to respond to present life circumstances with more clarity, more perspective. In more trying situations, we can look here for grounding and courage.

The forgiveness necessary is simply in our own hands…

“We must forgive ourselves

for carrying the weight

of our suffering

for so long”

           Recognizing the intimate closeness of it. The soft spot in the middle of our gut we protect and know so well. The addictions that numb us. The inability to allow ourselves real intimacy with another. Forgiving ourselves we can better understand the difference between bearing witness to suffering with compassion, and carrying suffering as a personal empathic weight.

          We also often carry our unresolved suffering from collective archetypal trauma through many life times, adding layers and complexity to our initial trauma. It is for this reason it is important to understand the necessity of forgiving ourselves for adding to the collective human separation by carrying this suffering through all these lifetimes.

And to whom are we asking forgiveness?

           We are asking forgiveness to life itself and any way that we have diminished life. As we bend low, we ask forgiveness from all beings, from everything in existence, for perceiving of ourselves apart. This asking for forgiveness is a mending. As we heal this also contributes to the healing of the whole and the imbalance caused by this separate human empathic velocity.

         In this conscious act we commit our selves to becoming more present in our bodies, feeling everything, resonant and trusting… and assisting in healing this separation. As we heal the grief and loss of separation we have carried for lifetimes, we find our place in this beautiful world. This world which eternally finds balance in each moment and which simply asks us to open our hearts and to listen…


© Jana H. White

Artist: Hieronymus Bosch “The Garden of Earthly Delights”



29 responses

    • hmmm….I’d like to think that Mark. But you know? I’ve become very fond of prose. And I don’t know if the dialogues will ever be “finished”. Although I think this part is resting in a good place. Thank you for being a part of this Mark….I’m ever grateful

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry Jana. I realise now that my comment was clumsy. I think in my fiction writing mindset I am constantly locked into the idea of a beginning, a middle and an end. But of course it isn’t like that. Poetry or prose, I’ll be there.

        Liked by 2 people

        • The thought of you being “clumsy” is very endearing Mark! It’s hardly the case here though. I’ve been wondering when I’ll return to poetry (or poetry will return to me) since I can’t seem to do both prose and poetry simultaneously. (rats!) I always appreciate your comments, Mark, and this one made me realize that I’ve actually been enjoying puzzling out prose … as far as “beginning, middle and end”…the most difficult writing I’ve ever attempted was in finding the beginning of this series! And yes! thank you for being here. It’s is immeasurably reassuring!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I like that Chris! It’s exactly how it felt…a prayer. I want to live inside prayer…Or prayer live inside of me….that sweet spot. Thank you Chris. Your insights always, not only illuminate, but give focus to my watery endeavors. Much gratitude my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I do the same Audra..come back to the seeming groundedness of expression. Life pushes and pulls on me. An ever delicate balancing but in the motion, the friction, sparks fly and catch light. Thank you!


  1. I’ve read this entire series without commenting on any as yet. This post particularly is of value to where I’m at right now. I’ll visit the series again, it is too much to take in at once. What did surprise me, I nearly said ‘alarm’ me was that no-one were surprised at your ability to communicate with these Angels, almost taking it in (your) their stride. I was wondering if I may email you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Petru…I hope I am saying your name correctly?… It is very interesting to me to hear you have followed the whole series and I welcome further dialogue. I will send my contact information to you. I think, to answer your question, that the people who have left comments have known me here through my poetry for awhile. A certain element of trust has been built up among us. At least I feel it has. It is through the writing of poetry that I became able to see clear to write this narrative, so many of them have watched me struggle with the many aspects of vulnerability I have felt in doing so. I can only guess though, but I am happy for it. It is for this reason that I have first published the narrative here. I felt, if I knew who I was talking with, I would learn a lot about how to go about writing it…and I have. I am very grateful! You’ve asked a good question and I look forward to connecting with you. Jana


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