Those melting shadows

Newsletter: October 2023

Dear web friend

Greetings again and it’s a while since I last wrote, which has given you plenty of time and space to shine alongside the sun and the moon. Cards on the table, I prefer the ember glow to the bright light, but there’s a place for both and all varieties of radiance in between.

The way you shine is the way you shine; and unique, obviously. You need not attempt to copy anyone else in this matter. That would be a fool’s errand.

So – and I probably should have started here – just in case no one has mentioned it today, thank you for your light and lustre in the world. When it shines, the shadows around you grumble, wither and die.

And I say this because life is difficult, and the shadows many. Scott Peck wrote a famous book called The Road Less Travelled, which probably set in motion the tsunami that is now the self-help publishing industry. And in the book, he starts with three words: ‘Life is difficult.’


I’ve always been grateful to Scott for normalising difficulty; and find it liberating. Life can be beautiful, marvellous, awe-inspiring and really very funny. But it will also be difficult; that is certain, and sometimes oppressively so. On occasion, the difficulty can swallow us whole. But this is normal. And it is from this immersive forge that the sparks of our luminosity dart, flash and flicker in the world.

As I hit my 66th year on the planet, I’m increasingly aware of the light in us all and the darkness in us all – extraordinary brilliance and lingering damage. And in my therapy work, what throws a blanket over our radiance is of particular interest. Perhaps we can befriend the shadows, lift the blanket, open the curtains to let a little light in? These things are possible.

In the meantime, I have a new website, courtesy of some very clever and creative people who shine very bright. Have you taken a look? I hope you like it:

Simon Parke: Therapist, writer & human

My first blog on the site was about that most difficult of words, love. What d’you reckon?

When we speak of love, of what do we speak?

And looking further down the tracks, the train you want is probably cancelled. UK travellers will know what I mean. But more reliable are two events which may interest. In May 2024, I am doing two days on the life, work and psyche of Vincent Van Gogh:

Vincent Van Gogh: A stranger on this earth

And in August 2024, I return to Sheldon to lead a five-day silent retreat on Master Eckhart, a 14th century figure still full of ember glow:

Meister Eckhart: Counsellor, disturber, friend

That’s probably enough. Your kind interest has only so much energy. So, thank you for your company, wherever you are; and I dare to say I won’t tarry so long before writing again.

For now, though, shine on, however you do. The shadows melt.

Simon x