Dec 2016 Newsletter // by Ian MacKenzie
Dear <<First Name>>,
Yesterday we crossed Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year.
At our home, my partner and I gathered with a small group of friends to share food, friendship, and pay homage to this time. We conducted a simple ritual by firelight, reflecting upon the year past and writing down that which we were desiring to "let go". One at a time we fed the paper to the flames, which licked them hungrily.
Afterward, we sang together, slowly at first, each voice finding strength as others joined and found their place amongst the harmony. We sang to the night and the stoic trees leaning close just outside our window. We sang to the land and the old ones peeking out from behind the thinning veil between this world and theirs. And we sang to each other, for the absurd gift and obligation of being a human being, especially in these darkening times.
As older, more intact cultures have known, it is darkness where all things return to, cradled in the end of their days. It is darkness where seeds go to be planted, sleeping beneath the crystalline silence of snow, only to burst forth as new shoots in the spring. And it is darkness that feeds the continuation of new life, rather than condemns it.
In a culture that consistently demands to be dazzled by the light, it is darkness that is so often vilified. Darkness is the enemy of the light, the den of all things unwelcome and unwanted. Stay fixated on the light, we’re told, and the darkness won’t find purchase on our days.
The result: darkness grows hungry. And suddenly many things begin to resemble food which did not before.
Perhaps you’ve been near those who have been gnawed upon by darkness. Perhaps you have been so yourself. This recognition rarely announces its presence, as its in the nature of darkness to survive as best it can on the unwanted and abandoned parts that were condemned to the shadows. And this meagre sustenance rarely satisfies. Soon, hungry darkness looks to others - other people, other beings, other cultures - to satiate its starved appetite.
Consider this a necessary invitation for these times.
May you and your people learn to grow more skillful at feeding the darkness, so it may remain the fecund womb of all things.
Grianstad Sona Duit,
Salish Sea, Canada
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VIDEO - INDIA'S INCREDIBLE WATER MAN
As the next piece via my Re/Culture media collective, watch the new short featuring Rajendra Singh, the "waterman of India." He is an incredible human: passionate, irreverent, and dedicated to serving the healing of water.
Medium named my June essay "Love Will Be The Death of Us" as one of the most memorable pieces of the year. The writeup is interesting:
"...Love is complicated. It’s a feeling, it’s an action, it’s a pulsing cartoon heart designed to distract you from a potential ticking time-bomb. Ian MacKenzie’s honest account of his failed marriage illustrates the difficulty of reconciling love with commitment..."
Considering one of my aims of the piece was to redefine what failure means in a relationship, seems the author didn't picked up on that - though I'm flattered to be included nonetheless.
» Read the essay Love Will Be The Death of Us
» Read Medium's full roundup of best of 2016
FEB 12 - VICTORIA - THE ART OF CROWDFUNDING
I'll be offering two options 1) In person at Sunset Labs in Victoria, BC, and 2) Online, livestreamed to anywhere in the world.
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