By Victoria Lynn Hall
Something I learned how to do as a way to survive the darkness of depression I’ve lived with for most of my life is chase the light. Through that process I have discovered that there are many different kinds of light to chase but I have come to think of each of them as predominantly belonging to one of three different categories: sunlight, moonlight and understanding.
Sunlight is something you just need to be in the presence of to experience. It comes and goes, sometimes hides behind the clouds, but you know it’s always there; like a good friend or a favorite song or a happy memory.
Moonlight seems distant and mysterious but it’s also inspiring. You can bring it closer to you only through reflection and imagination. It waxes and wanes in a reliable cycle, like our own energy and creativity.
Understanding is that light bulb that comes on over your head when you finally get something or that switch that gets flicked that suddenly chases all the shadows out of your mind. It helps you see things clearly, which makes you feel better even when those things are disturbing or uncomfortable, because confronting real problems is much less tormenting and more productive than wrestling with those shadows.
As I said, I learned to chase the light but these days I don’t have to do much chasing. In fact, I attend three Zoom calls nearly every week that each fall into one of these three categories of light.
My “Moon” call is with the Wonderland Campaign Discussion Group based on my friend Kerri Romeo‘s imaginative writing adventures. This is where I and others engage in curiosity and creativity, reflecting on what is meaningful to us and creating visions and goals to aspire to.
And of course my “Understanding” call is the conversation I have each week with my friend, Jesse Crall, that we record for Ask Jesse, where he shares with me the knowledge and insight that helps me put the events of our world into perspective and gives me a better idea of where I might fit into it.
The reason I’m sharing this with you now is not to brag about what amazing friends I have (though I am very grateful for them) but because I believe that in order to see “the big picture” of our politics and our world we need all three kinds of light to illuminate it for us.
We need the sunlight of friendship and community to give us enough of a sense of safety and belonging so that we can at least have moments when we can stop reacting to the stress in our lives and attain a sense of our selves, our values and our beliefs.
And we need the lightbulb of understanding to chase away the shadows of fear and propaganda that obscure and distract from the very real problems and challenges that stand in the way of us achieving our vision.
I believe we need to stop reacting to and wrestling with the shadows and learn to chase the light, shine the light and be the light.
Learn more about our community zoom meetings, including a new women’s support group starting on Tuesday, August 10th, on our Gatherings page.
Jesse mentioned Max Blumenthal criticizing Adam Schiff for his “photo op” appearance at the Capitol last weekend, video of which Blumenthal shared in this tweet:
I mentioned this article by David Dayen for the American Prospect: The Eviction Crisis Is a Rental Assistance Crisis
The advocacy group for Homeless I was talking about is Invisible People. You can watch and read the stories behind homeless people on their website, including the story of Reggie, the man I spoke about who has a full time job but still is unable to afford a home.
Watch/listen to our full episode below or on YouTube where you can subscribe to all of our video content.
A Los Angeles native, Jesse Crall graduated from UCLA’s English Department before working as a copywriter, script reader and project manager for an engineering firm.
A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.