oth darkness

“Mom, you just said something nice about the new house, I am so proud of you!” my new teenager said.

“Oh MY GOD, I did?! I didn’t mean it, I take it back.” I replied.

I am finding it’s one thing to make hopeful declarations and another thing to have to actually live in the Old Trashy House. There has been more than one Hollywood tantrum (as my sister calls them) this week…and maybe a few Anne of Green Gables “depths of despair” crying moments as well. I know it’s one of those times that I will return to years from now and wonder how I ever could have been such a brat, or maybe I’ll be evolved enough to remember myself in kindness and love that dear girl because everything made sense after all.

I wake up every morning and desperately miss the view of the sun rising and watching the pink light creep up the walls to fill the old magic house so easily, with no effort at all. I keep looking for the light here, both literally and figuratively. I see how much the old place and people kept me going, how the light was held for me… and this just isn’t that. Even so, while I kick and scream, I am discovering there is something about the dark.

It’s the kind of dark where you finally say you don’t think you can do something and you acknowledge the need for a light that carries you in a new way, or you must sort of struggle and sit in the dark before the light comes to rescue you or you find your own. Or maybe no rescue is needed at all, maybe the dark is the way. The need or the one thing that makes you unlovable may just be the thing that takes you where you are meant to be or go. It may be in this honesty with ourselves that we find the way…and each other.

…and I am finding that our kindness doesn’t have to come from the best part of ourselves, it can come from our pain, our healing, the darkest places of who we are…because those are the the birth places of our humanity and the exact places we are all connected.

In some strange way even while it’s still shitty and hard, this lets me sigh, a deep sigh…as I make friends with the dark.

oth darkness2

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The weather is changing where I live, it feels like the dark is moving in fast. A little faster than I expected. I find myself wanting to hibernate. It is a lovely time, to go in and be closer together with people we love. The only tricky part is that sometimes we still need a bit more and if you don’t have people around you or you are facing something big, you can start to believe you are alone.

It’s easy to lose your way in the dark…or forget the warmth of light. It seems like lots of dear folks around me right now need a little light, or need someone to come into the cave, or stand side by side, a little closer.

So I wondered if there was a little reminder we could offer each other, a small, but bright light we can share.

day of the dead lantern

The kids and I have been making these little lanterns over the years. I’m sure it was like a 3rd grade art project but I love them so much…they are colorful and sweet.
Here’s my idea:
We all probably know someone who feels a little lost, or low or just in need of some love and light? I thought the crafty folks and the rest of us can just channel our inner third graders and make lanterns. We can leave them on a door step for the people we care about with a little note. Even in the coming cold and dark, we are together, and no one has to do it alone…and kindness changes everything.

Here’s how:

1. All you need are some old jars from the recycling, glue, a foam brush, tissue paper, tea lights and wire.

2. Mix the glue with water with a 1 to 1 ratio- half water, half glue, you can make it a little thicker if needed. I use Elmer’s glue ALL, this mixture is similar to Mod Podge.

3. Brush on the glue and lay the tissue paper. Let it dry and then add one or 2 more coats of the glue mixture over the entire jar.

4. The tissue paper ink runs, so it’s good to use a foam brush.

5. Wrap the wire (ceiling wire from the hardware store works great) around and loop around the lantern handle to secure.

6. Leave a tea light in the lantern- we love the LED fake kind of tea light for deliveries so we don’t have to worry about fire safety.

7. Attach a note of love or a quote on light.

You can send your pictures of your lanterns to me at patience@kindnessgirl.com or post them on our Guerrilla Goodness Facebook page. Also, can you do a favor for me? In the comments, can you include some quotes on light or even your thoughts of things you need to hear in the dark?

AND if you are in Richmond and you could use a lantern of light and hope, I have 4 lanterns that the kids and I will be Ding Dong Ditching…we would love to bring one to you. E-mail me at patience@kindnessgirl.com with a name and address.

May warm nights and lots of light find you as the winter comes…