Our original guiding stars are struggle and hope.
 - Pablo Neruda

There is something about this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when the days grow shorter with an unnameable heaviness. Perhaps it is because the sun tucks into the horizon hours before our natural rhythm slows. Perhaps it is due to unresolved struggles that we'd hoped would've resolved before we close another year. Then again, perhaps, it is just weather. 

But there is no such thing as a lone struggle, no such thing as a lone hope.
- Pablo Neruda

My own struggle seemed to outweigh hope this past holiday weekend, and of course, I foolishly thought it was a story woven just for me. However, at around 1:30 am Saturday night, I was reminded that threads are stitched together. As I drank a glass of water, I looked out my fifth floor window and saw the figure of a fellow traveler testing gravity a block away on  the seventh floor of a parking garage. At first, I was not sure what I was witnessing, however, the longer I stared hard into the shadows created by the harsh garage lights, it became evident this lone figure was perhaps seeking an exit from their own struggles. 

There is no insurmountable solitude. 
- Pablo Neruda

Solitude is a beautiful gift, and it can be one's worst enemy. Uncertain that I could talk someone off a non-proverbial ledge, I called the authorities despite my own misgivings on their reliability. All the while, I sent that soul being every ounce of loving kindness energy from this fellow wander and wove an imaginary safety net from my heart to theirs with the hope that it could hold us both.

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. 
- Pablo Neruda

We all want to be seen. What often is the struggle is that we cannot control how others see us. That night, I saw a lit being testing freedom in balance. What I cannot know was their state of mind or their internal monologue. When they finally leapt off the ledge into the garage with what may have been a slight dance, I prayed they carried a little silver lining or at least a thread of hope into their next journey.

And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song — but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.
- Pablo Neruda

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