The winter of my discontent was spent looking for answers that could not be found anywhere but within my self.
That winter of my discontent took place several years ago, as I moved from one place to another, from one phase of my life to another. It felt as if the reliable routine was no longer reliable, the plans on the calendar were almost frightening, and the morrow could not fully be trusted.
I chalked up some of my trepidation to the perverted chaos of criminal politics in my homeland; but I soon came to understand that the crumbling of a corrupt power structure, with gobs of ghouls filling its ranks, was not the deeper reason for my discontent.
That winter of my discontent was a warning sign to me that I needed to grow, emotionally, in order to fit into a new house I would call home. The months that I was facing demanded of me that I confront past goblins amidst the restless whirl of the world that I daily faced.
I realize, this winter, that that winter of my discontent, several years ago, was a cleavage that I was using to separate my self from the cunning deceptions and the disguised frauds of my past, as those ogres emerged, once more, upon the shore of my consciousness — in the present day, wearing newer but ghastly masks!
With startling and rapid insight, I saw, as if for the first time, truths I’d already seen regarding liars and human swine. I quickly developed a sense of proportion and then acted upon a fierce desire for patience. Little by little, with steady effort, I pulled my disgruntled self out of a frosty season of distrust.
I felt as if I’d attained a mountain top within my heart. I became free of any wound that had sorely injured me. The memories remained, without the pain. Wisdom and quietude replaced doubts and fear. I felt serenity come near as the shadows of the past disappeared.
And within those whispers of faith, I understood that every moment that I’d lived, every moment that anyone lives, is meant to realize these truths, as penned by the English poet and Anglican priest, John Donne (22 January 1572 - 31 March 1631). The publication date of this poem is 1633, after the death of this mystical, practical man who dwelled upon, and wrote of, paradoxes as if those puzzles were the stuff of life and faith, love and loss, and death and divine salvation. Indeed, they are.
A Lecture upon The Shadow
Stand still, and I will read to thee
A lecture, love, in love’s philosophy.
These three hours that we have spent,
Walking here, two shadows went
Along with us, which we ourselves produced;
But, now the sun is just above our head,
We do those shadows tread;
And to brave clearness all things are reduced.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,
Disguises did, and shadows, flow,
From us, and our care; but, now ’tis not so.
That love has not attain’d the high’st degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see.
Except our loves at this noon stay,
We shall new shadows make the other way.
As the first were made to blind
Others; these which come behind
Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes.
If our loves faint, and westwardly decline;
To me thou, falsely, thine,
And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadows wear away,
But these grow longer all the day,
But, oh, love’s day is short, if love decay.
Love is a growing, or full constant light;
And his first minute, after noon, is night.