Old Man Gloom. The giant effigy of darkness and despair that gets eaten up by flames once a year--when the sun begins to turn its light from this earth, and we descend into the depths of the inward-turning months--since 1926 they say.
But I know better. Though I've never been to the iconic burning in my homeland nor stuffed the gloom boxes scattered around Santa Fe with my burnable past, I know better. Yes, I know better. Each and every day I burn Old Man Gloom with my own fire, my own light that fuels me and cleanses my spirit from the shades and whispers of doubt that seek to make their home in me.
It is not enough to sit and wait and watch someone burn Old Man Gloom for you, for he can return at any time---and can, with your flame, be sent back to the ashes of his existence. This burning is a tribute to the fire we must keep within ourselves year round the better to chase away the daily dreads that seek to turn us from our path. To turn from the shadows that seduce us with their gloom like a cloudy blanket--comforting in how it keeps us in our familiar past. (Though move on we must, for some, it is easier to embrace the gloom than venture into the unknown.)
But not for me.
So goodbye, Old Man Gloom, today and every day. With my light, I banish you. With my light, I banish stagnate energies. With my light, I banish old-selves that no longer serve me. With my light, I banish the woe others cast my way. I let the flames of my soul burn them alive until they are nothing but ash and charred bits of history good for nothing but fuel for my cosmic compost.
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