Dena and I co-wrote You Can Shine a Flashlight back in 2012. Somewhere earlier in her spiritual journey, she had coined a phrase, “You can shine a flashlight, but not a flashdark…” While talking with a friend who was sharing about their fear of darkness and evil energy in the world, Dena had an epiphany which led to this phrase.

lightness in dark and darkness in light of the yin yang symbolMetaphysically, the phrase leads me to ponder upon the spiritual mystery as visualized in the Yin/Yang symbol. For me, this symbol represents how there is light in darkness and darkness in light within the natural world (ex., night and day or the stars in the night sky).

At the time we wrote this song, we needed a new song for an upcoming music gig. It was in December and around the time of the Winter Solstice, so we wanted to tie it into the theme of light being born out darkness.

Our Deepest Fear

I had the idea of weaving into the new song, some thoughts from one of my favorite philosophical quotes. I actually have it hanging on the bathroom mirror for frequent reference. Here’s the quote, as written by Marianne Williamson.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson 

To enjoy a live version of You Can Shine a Flashlight, click below.

You can shine a flashlight but not a flashdark

Holiday Season Musical Highlights

I got to share and play plenty of music this month for both Solstice and Christmas. First, we sang the aforementioned You Can Shine a Flashlight song in our annual Winter Solstice community circle. Since it was a sunny day and not too cold, we all sat together and connected in the sacred space of the labyrinth and enjoyed the blue sky and flittering birds in the treetops.

Next, Dena and I had the joy of playing guitar and ukulele with our 5 year old granddaughter, Amanda, on her own ukulele and our 2 year old grandson, Kyle, on tambourine. We celebrated the wonder of the season by singing old children’s classics and carols like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Silent Night. I was impressed with the way Kyle kept the beat with the tambourine on some of the songs. He may be a future drummer down the road.

Finally, Dena and I enjoyed an outrageously delicious Christmas Day dinner with friends, followed by an impromptu concert in the living room. This musical soiree included a hilarious, new Santa tune by our good friend and singer/songwriter/guitar player, Joe E. Franklin. I think it may prove to be yet another modern Christmas classic by him. Ah, yes, a good time was had by all!