The Light and The Dark, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

"Sometimes shadows are the only light we see."
                - Leo Kotke

It was my birthday.

I was at a Leo Kotke concert with my sweet husband and family.  The guitar music poured over me with quiet joy and contentment.  I was happy, the venue was just right, we were sitting almost in front, and it felt intimate and joyful.
 
Joy and pure contented quiet life filled my being.  Pure light.

Then, a rather large man in front of me lifted his phone in in the air and began videoing the event.  Dark vile thoughts rose up instantly from deep inside me.  “Why does someone have to look at such a lovely moment through the screen of a small phone?!", I thought, "He could see this same song and performer on YouTube any night from his home."
 
I was startled by my own reactions. The darkness I am capable of in an instant surprised me.  How is it possible that such a serene and loving moment can be interrupted so vehemently by my own thoughts?  Who am I anyway?

Then my years of studying and teaching Kabbalah rose like a swell in the ocean to carry me home to myself.  Kabbalah teaches me that there can be no light without darkness.  To the same extent that light is present, darkness is also there.  Pure presence resides in the space between the two and all creation happens there. Only then does healing and wholeness occur.
 
The trick is learning myself well enough to be familiar with both the light and dark parts of me.  Then, I have the choice of how to behave and how to take action in my life.   For me, this has taken many years of study and personal work.  And I am so grateful for this self-healing. 

My attention floated back to the music drifting from the guitar and both my darkness and my light were thoroughly delighted with the whole event!

Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.