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Dried flower arrangement

Solstice 2020 ~ Conjunction Reflection

This year has been about losing lots, reflecting more.

Yesterday Jupiter and Saturn were conjunct in the canvass of space in a composition of proximity unseen since 1623. In a non-sequitur, purely coincidental revelation, 1623 was also the year the term insomnia appeared in the dictionary. In this spirit of sleep-deprivation, or, more accurately, a want of sleep, here are a few reflections I had the dreamless night of Solstice.

We are in a moment that feels impossibly unique. It is not.

This moment is iterative. A repetition of a cycle fuelled by an inevitability as strong as gravity. An ending, a fall of empire, a reckoning with forgiveness and coming to terms. The ways we live, the ways we love, the values we celebrate – this year has offered us little openings to imagine: “how might I do this differently?” How can I ask for, offer, and accept forgiveness for all the taken-for-granted moments, and, more importantly the ignorance of my own exceptional privilege?

I have had trouble letting go of Christmas. I think I had cognitive dissonance about missing MY family festivities, while thoughtlessly accepting others would miss THEIRS. My Christmas represents to me the last vestige of my Polish heritage with its pastoral and pagan origins richly interlaced with the gilded imagery of the "Boże Narodzenie" -- 'God's Birth'. But a close friend of mine has offered me a new perspective, one that shook me out of my self-centredness. Muslims have lost Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Jewish celebrations of Rosh Hashanah, Passover, Yom Kippur and Hannukah no doubt this year were a little quieter. Jains, Sikhs and Hindus all shared their disappointment and loss during Diwali restrictions. Samhain was marked in a deeper contemplative silence. Perhaps this moment, this year of 2020 hindsight, this turning over of the darkest night, this cosmic moment of unbelievably rare circumstance, could be the great equalizer for all faiths to explore why holidays are important, and how to imbue them with light and joy in new ways.

What have we been living for the past 400 years?

Have we been in line with our own values, our spirit of truth? Who has been telling us what is true, beautiful, worthy? 

I am very tired of being sold to. I am tired of being told what expression of myself is valuable; particularly if that is skin deep. I’m excited for notions of beauty that tell stories; that reflect unique histories, real journeys and earned relationships. This is the journey I hope to travel by creating Stoic Beauty, to allow the process of creating beauty to be a reflective journey, nourishing and revitalizing for those who take on the journey!

We are created in the reflection of others.

Beauty is not composition, an ultra-curated snapshot made for the ‘gram, it is composite. We are created in the reflection of others. We are created through relationship. Moments where I feel myself most beautiful are when I am able to be in a spirit of loving generosity with my friends and family. That’s why it is so hard to be alone, to lose that spirit of co-creation that’s shared and negotiated. This year, we have seen how often ugliness emerges when we are craving connection but fighting the discipline and moral fortitude that is its prerequisite. Wearing masks, social distancing, missing cherished holidays. These can feel like impossible restrictions for some and enraging to many that witness their peers’ struggle to follow the rules. It is all getting to be a bit much. We are tired. And we are fighting each other because of it.

There is so much anger arising out of loss. Out of pain, out of sheer pandemic fatigue.

But maybe, rather than fighting the fatigue, arousing ourselves into a toxic insomnia, we should allow ourselves to rest. To nourish ourselves as best we can, and to continue to see the beauty in our cherished relationships, even though those relationships might look a little different right now.


Wishing you love, peace and stoic moments, 


Maria Wodzinska photo looking off to distance





Thank you, Tijiki Morris, for sharing this lovely quote last night:

“Forgiveness is part of the treasure you need to craft your falcon wings and return to your true realm of Divine freedom.” ~Hafiz

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Tags: Maria, Reflection

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