About My Logo

The way out into the light often looks dark,
the way that goes ahead often looks as if it went back.

- Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching

A Black Sun

I used to give a really neat and tidy description of my logo. And then I realized that it was, as I had felt intuitively for a while, a little too neat and tidy.

I began absentmindedly drawing the image of a black sun many years ago—I doodled it while sitting in meetings back in the days of my corporate work life when it was dawning on me that I was going to have push myself out of the plush corporate nest and find another career. I didn't know what this image was. I didn't bestow any great meaning upon it. I just found myself drawing it again and again. The image pleased me somehow.

Forward many years later, over a decade, to my therapist life. I was working with my graphic designer, the excellent Theresa Misenti, and we were exploring designs for my logo. Out of my vague ideas of what I wanted and our resulting discussions, she came up with the image you see here. I was immediately struck by the image she had created. But I had never told her about my black sun doodlings. Upon seeing it, I didn't even recall those doodlings and didn't remember them until a couple of years later (when the sudden realization reverberated to my core).

Obviously, something about this image, whether my amateur doodling or Theresa's beautiful, professional rendering, compels me.

My original, neat, and tidy description was that my black sun represents the paradox of growth. Going into the dark, the unknown, is very often the only way to reach something new, something else. This paradox is so deeply true that it shows up in the most ancient stories and images. It is a fact in nature where decay precedes new life. And like so many paradoxes, it is hard to grasp and remember, especially when the darkness we face is very deep. So my black sun is as much a personal reminder for me as it is a professional symbol.

Those words remain completely and profoundly true. Even now when I read them, I feel a little shiver. But I also felt pressured to provide such a concise explanation, like I should be able to make an "elevator speech" (where you can sum up something in the time it takes for an elevator ride). The psychologist James Hillman warned about boiling down images in that way to a single meaning. You can never completely grasp what an image means. When you try to reduce it down to a neatly summed-up explanation, it loses something. It gets flattened.

So I am trying now to let my black sun have its due…fullness. For me, and for you. You might find something else in this image. I will most certainly find new things in it as I grow in my therapy work. And there are other facets to it that I will never fully grasp. It feels right to acknowledge all of this. And to name how important it is for each one of us to trust what calls us, even when we can't say precisely why.