(804) 928-3189 BethHedquist@gmail.com
The Fear Beneath the Fun

The Fear Beneath the Fun

Halloween dates back some 2,000 years to the Celts who celebrated the New Year on Nov. 1st. So Halloween began as a New Years Eve, so to speak!   With summer having come to a close and the harvest for the year collected, they prepared to enter the time of year marked by darkness, death, and bitter cold. They believed that on this night the boundary between the earthly plane and the spirit world was thinner, and they could encounter spirits and ghosts returning to Earth.   It’s interesting to note that their new year BEGAN with darkness, death, and cold.   We tend to view times of darkness and death as times to be feared, dreaded, and avoided at all costs. Yet these people were so connected with nature and its cycles, and knew that you must enter the darkness before a new cycle of life can be born.   Today we dress up like ghosts and demons and various other frightening characters, and we run around collecting candy and enjoying the pseudo-comfort of laughing at and making fun of our fears and our darkness.   As if they didn’t really exist.   Underneath the fun and celebration, what we most deeply fear is that we are these skeletons, these demons, these ghosts. We fear that we are just an empty shell of bones, the overwhelming cruelty and evil of our hidden demons, or a collection of thoughts that are dissociated and disconnected from our bodies.   Because we have hidden behind masks and pretenses of who we’d like to believe we are, and who we’d like others...
Returning to the Peace That Underlies All Fear

Returning to the Peace That Underlies All Fear

  “When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” Wendell Berry   Fear. Anxiety. Despair. Have you been feeling any of these recently? I’ve seen and heard enough in everyday life and in the news encouraging and exacerbating these emotions lately. And it’s all too easy for me to numb these feelings out by getting busy and staying busy.   So I went on a much anticipated two week vacation to California, where I could slow down and immerse myself in nature and spend time with loved ones. A time to get away from doing and enjoy being.   And it was amazing how I could exchange busy-at-work with busy-at-vacationing.   Driving from one place to another, hiking this trail and that, photographing this fantastic scene and then the next, and then the next. Loving every minute of it, and exhausted at the end of every day.   Still, in the background it was there. Fear. Anxiety. Despair. Would I make my plane? Would my daughter get lost on her way to meet us?...