Sunday’s guest speaker, Dan Keusal, treated us to a talk filled with eloquence. Completely apart from the subject of his talk, I noticed that Dan enjoys words, selects them carefully, and presents them with relish.
He opened with a poem by Morgan Farley, “Clearing”, and went on to talk of clearing a space for the dark, for winter, for the solstice and all of the other celebrations and observances of this time. He spoke of experiencing the ancient rhythms of the increasing dark, and added a wide range of quotes, from the bible to local, more obscure, celebrities. For example, Dave Ingram, ““You can put anybody — I don’t care who they are — out under the stars for 30 minutes, and they start asking the big questions,” and a Yiddish proverb: “After a good cry, your heart is wider.”
He then expanded on this theme, on President-elect Donald Trump, and on the archetype of the Alchemist. He also spoke on the increasingly sparse opportunities for us to experience the dark, and with that its abilities to give to us wonder, awe, and humility.
He suggested two ways to expand your experience of the dark:
- Daily, turn off all the lights (including all the led’s, etc). and sit in the dark for a time, receiving its wisdom. Then light a single candle and sit with that light.
- Several times a week, dress up warmly and actually go out in the dark, stand under the night sky, breathe, and wait.
Local folk legend Thaddeus Spae brought his harmonica, his trombone, and his joyous active voice to the service as our guest artist.