Standing Still 2021: Demeter Waiting

Today is the December solstice: the winter solstice in my hometown Northern hemisphere, summer in the Southern.

Persephone and her Pomegranate

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 'Proserpine', 1874

The millenia-old story of Persephone and her pomegranate, in all their incarnations, strikes me as a deeper analogy this Winter. Persephone was abducted, held hostage in hell, and starved. Only under this extreme duress did she eat anything she was offered: a few seeds of the pomegranate to stave her hunger.

I can relate to “being held hostage in hell”. I feel as though I’ve endured six years of it. I know others do, as well.

While our personal histories may provide us with tools and resources to endure, so much of our resiliency is shaped by systemic forces. Conservative forces of this country have worked for decades, all my adult life, to destroy all social supports – health care, housing, education, food, transportation – that should be our common responsibility, “privatizing” them into for-profit enterprises available only to those who can afford it, and parasitizing what should have been our collective wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer.

The past six years has broken people.

Endurance trauma takes unique forms in all of us. We can become numb. We can become paralyzed by fear. We might take risks we would not have accepted before. We may lash out, seeking targets for our rage. It can lead us to embrace the dark places. I have lost friends and colleagues to those places throughout all this, especially over the past year.

Maybe I am more like Demeter, weeping for the hold darkness has over others, while reaching and hoping for a time when we can bring everyone back into the light.

A Single Candle

Related Content

All my past Winter Solstice posts: 

  • 2018: Standing Still in 2018
  • 2016: Standing Still 2016
  • 2015: Standing Still
  • 2014: The Sun stands still
  • 2010: From Dark to Dark: Eclipse-Solstice Astro Combo
  • 2009: Standing Still, Looking Ahead
  • 2008: Stand Still / Dona Nobis Pacem
  • 2007: Solstice (the sun stands still)



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