Think Jung

Make Life a Mythic Journey

Embracing the Spirit of the Holiday Season

The waiting process actually has three distinct phases…separation, transformation, and emergence. The life of the soul evolves and grows as we move through these three cycles. The process is…a spiraling journey that we undertake throughout life.

—Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits (p. 78)

This is the time of cold and darkness when we retreat into ourselves. This is the time of “separation” from the old to the new. This is the time, as Sue Monk Kidd says, of “transformation” where we search for the inner light symbolized by the Festival of Lights called Chanukah and the “emergence” of spirit symbolized by Christ’s birth celebrated at Christmas.

This year it has been a time for cleaning out piles of past documents preparing for the “emergence” of a new future in the coming New Year. It was then that I unearthed the following poem written on the tenth anniversary of my mother’s death that deals with a major “separation, transformation, and emergence” into a new, eternal spiritual connection that transcends the finite and the temporal:

Mother: In Memoriam*

The sun has set; where are my sons?20141218_133627

         Now, light the first candle!

It will remove the eternal shroud of darkness.

         Pray that they will find me

(savoring a meal at the Far East Garden or

         at the Spaghetti Palace).


Blessed are You, the Force that rules

         all of existence,

Who sanctifies us by giving us a way

         of life directed by holy commandments

and commanded us to light

         the lights of Chanukah.”


Eight awesome days the light flickered.

         Let us celebrate the Maccabee’s victory.

Eight amazing decades my life glowed.

         Pray that my spirit will be free

(laughing at Dutchland Farms or Riverside Park).


“Blessed are You, the Force that rules

         the universe,

Who made possible miracles

         for our ancestors, in those days,

and also makes the same possible

         for us in our own time.”


Eight splendid men have been the gifts

         of my life:

sons—Alan, Paul, and Ron;


Joshua and Jed, Jeremy and Andrew;

         and my steadfast, glowing companion—Harold.

Pray that they still see me

         (grinning in the dark of the Allyn or Strand theater).


Blessed are You, the Force that rules

         the family of all men and women,

Who shines upon us through the ages

         and allows us to bear the fruit

that renews one generation with another.


Eight mortal spirits have illuminated

         your lives:

my parents—Fannie and Robert;

         your aunts and uncles—

Jack and Jeanette, Ida and Izzie;

         your father—Max, and now

me, your mother—Julia.

         Pray that my soul will shine

(smiling on the waters of Barkhamsted or Ocean Beach).


Blessed are You, the Force that rules

         the day and the night,

Who has kept us in life—

         and in death,

and made it possible

         for us to join together now

(and at all the happy places we have been)!


*Quoted material from Tikkun magazine.

May the healing spiritual light of the season embrace you and bring you the glow of cosmic love and connection in the coming year.

—-Paul Marshall Wortman

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This entry was posted on December 18, 2014 by in Family, Memoir, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .


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