on shining

A ceiling light in our house. Photo credit: Lori Claerhout.

A ceiling light in our house. Photo credit: Lori Claerhout.

Shine: this word has been circling around me for some time, now. Weeks, and probably almost months. There's the song still stuck in my head. I've been attracted through social photography, where I go to have fun and sort out my days. And then, in a yearly ritual that I nearly didn't participate in this time, Amy Palko connected me directly to Amaterasu: the goddess of choosing to shine. I've written before about this ritual and my resistance to it: earlier, of a different kind. This time, my resistance was beforehand. I wasn't sure that I "needed" a goddess this year. I felt like my year already had a plan (ha! I laugh even as I type it), and I was solid (again, ha!). I wasn't going to ask for any goddess guidance. In a moment of whim-following, I signed up. And when Amy presented Amaterasu to me, I laughed with how close I feel to the goddess known as "Shining Heaven." Maybe it's how much I feel attracted to her, but also how I am drawn to her story of both rejecting and embracing her need to shine.

Now I begin to explore our connection. That is, my connection to Amaterasu and her story, and my connection to the concept of shining. Amy's collection of images is the first place I've looked. Because the dictionary is also a close friend of mine, that was an easy next stop. Here's what Dictionary.com has to say.


Right now, I'm considering each of the meanings listed: how they relate to how I see the world and how I move through it; how I reflect on objects and back to others. What wants me to put a polish on it? How will I glow with light? What animates me and others? In what areas do I want to excel and do I actually excel? Where is it that I can direct the light, and how will that be received?

These are among the questions that I'm considering as I commit to the year ahead. To play with them, I'd like to take more photographs, and document this foray on Instagram in the coming year under #365shine.  

*edited on January 3, 2017 to spell Amaterasu correctly. (Yes, I've been a career editor since 1998! It's true: we make spelling and other errors.)