I am singing the cold rain
I am singing the winter dawn
I am turning in the grey morning
of my life
toward home
(Lance Henson, "I'm Singing the Cold Rain")

I just found this beautiful image at Oceanshaman's blog (http://oceanshaman.blogspot.com/) and it immediately spoke to me of Hexagram 12, STAGNATION, which been one of my "pet peeve" hexagrams for a long time. I've lived with major depression all my life, and STAGNATION speaks to the "brown-out" of the soul that occurs ... the confusion, the alienation, the squashed vitality.

But this image ... I see so much beauty in it. The crouching figure is an angel; she wears a red gown. Red implies heat, heart, life-force. The angel's wings are spread, perhaps as a way to shelter herself from wind. A grey aura subtly surrounds her -- yet she is bathed in light. Perhaps she is mourning; perhaps she is curled into a state of deep contemplation. Perhaps, despite all -- is she a fallen angel? -- she is singing or humming or droning a prayer, honing in on the "home" in herself: her soul.

I am convinced that the deepest healing medicine is our reverent regard -- again, despite all -- for our own souls, our own survival. Depression is often considered a loss of heart -- a broken heart that needs mending, coherence, and connection. Hexagram 13, FRIENDSHIP / COMMUNITY, is a vital principle in the healing of depression. To reach out ... to speak what is true ... to touch and be touched ... to consider that we do belong in this world.

In the past few weeks, I have been doing just that. A few visits with beloved family and friends; honest and enlightening conversation with my physician; a heart-to-heart with my husband. I also feel a welling of hope and possibility with the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for U.S. President. Obama's roots are in community -- as a man whose ancestry is rooted in more than one place; as a person whose working life began in the streets of Chicago; as someone who sees beyond labels and the conflictual divisions that we habitually create. As the Roman philosopher Menicius said,

The sage is one who has first discovered
what is common in our hearts.


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