Holding the Light and Dark


As we toil towards Winter Solstice in this hemisphere, I will continue to ruminate on the darkness. Despite the Standing Rock triumph of an easement denied to Dakota Access Pipeline yesterday, the pipeline projects are not dead.  They are proliferating everywhere. It is the last gasp of the fossil fuel industry’s greed, intent on squeezing out every last drop of profit before we turn to a new age of clean energy. It is a many headed monster.

Today I gave a presentation at St. John’s University and Abbey in Central Minnesota about the Doctrine of Discovery. It was well attended by my colleagues, students, professors and monks.

These 15th c. Theologies of Entitlement and Doctrines of Discovery were blessed by the Christian Church, sending out explorers to go and conquer the “new world”. Today our whole Western notion of civilization is based upon these pillars of colonization. It honors profit at the expense of life, earth as utilitarian, industry over indigenous worldviews and land based peoples as disposable and dispossessable.The new colonizers are not just governments, settlers and the military, they are legal systems, multinational corporations, international banking and development structures and World Trade organizations.

Whether bees, soil, seeds or humans, as we lose (if not already lost) our community sovereignty, we lose the basic human rights for healthy land, air and water for future generations.

Tonight I feel lost in the dark, despite the flicker of light at Standing Rock. I write this after a very long day. I am tired.

I remember my bees huddled in a ball in the dark. Keeping each other warm. Keeping each other alive. Waiting out the dark…


And so I sit with the darkness tonight as the weather temperatures plummet to single digits. I sit with the cold, ungainly fearful dark of these days—what is and what may yet come. The powers arrayed against common ordinary life and most of humanity who just want a peaceful, modest life with goodness, love, friendship. Who just ask for enough, not the sickness of too much.

There was a quote from the daily meditation website of Fr. Richard Rohr this day (12/5/16)….

It takes uncommon humility to carry both the dark and the light side of things…

And I pray that we all have the courage to carry both.

As the bees somehow do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s