Posted by: drjamm | October 14, 2008

Ribbons of darkness

It is our third day of the Thanksgiving holiday and I have felt very tired and “almost sick” with a flu. I made it downstairs to the kitchen this morning only to fall asleep in the cuddle-up chair a couple of hours after getting up. Because of my lethargy, and because it rained heavily all day, we stayed inside — except for the necessity to do one outside chore. By dusk, I had the chills and still felt heavy with… I don’t know what. Was it the pre-flu loss of energy? The missing of my extended family? Or, as I, now, recognize was it the “ribbons of darkness” hanging around at the edges of my awareness. I felt heavy with the start of some tangles-of-darkness that were weighing me down the closer they got. I decided the best way to be at peace with this drifting darkness was to light a fire — a rare event in our house — and dedicate the night to the soaking in of the heat of the fire. I got my pillow, blanket, and a book to read; and then, I laid down on the floor right in front of the fire being sure to turn over “rotisserie style” to make sure I was warmed through and through. Every time I became conscious of a fear or worry, I visualized it being sent into and then being transformed by the fire. It has been a long time since I have looked after my Spiritual Self with a fire ritual. As a result, right now, just before going to bed, I feel thoroughly warmed in Body and Soul and the ribbons of darkness are farther away where they cannot disturb me tonight. I am thankful for this day and the gift of having the time and inspiration to warm and cleanse my Self with a fire ritual.

(click on each photo to appreciate “dancing flames”)

P.S. Although I wasn’t thinking about Gordon Lightfoot’s song when I wrote this blog entry, I went to bed humming the tune. Clearly, that phrase “ribbon of darkness” surfaced from many a study evening spent sharing a dorm room with a Gordon Lightfoot fan who played “GL” tapes religiously the night before every exam. Though Gordon’s meaning for the Ribbon of Darkness is much darker than I felt last night, the “ribbon” metaphor still fits for me. Below is an excerpt of Gordon Lightfoot’s original words to “Ribbon of Darkness”

Ribbon of darkness over me
Clouds a-gatherin’ o’er my head
That kill the day and hide the sun
That shroud the night when day is done
Ribbon of darkness over me

(bright heart singing, copyright 2008 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)



  1. Quran 66:6 O ye who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire whereof the fuel is men and stones, over which are set angels strong, severe, who resist not Allah in that which He commandeth them, but do that which they are commanded.

    I read a while ago God (Allah) has taken away emotions from the angels who are guardian of hell, there are devoid of mercy so they do not ever think twice about fulfilling the command of God with regards to punishement. May God Guide us all to the right path. Ameen.

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