dark night of the soul

Every spiritual tradition has writings and teachings about what Christians call…

The dark night of the soul.

It’s understood to be a necessary pre-cursor to receiving the light of redemption. That’s not how it feels while you’re there, though.

Dark times are hard, we can resist but when we do, perversely, we find we’ve missed out on their transformative potential.

This poem is about giving the dark times their due.

~~~

Life said to the wanderer: wait
without waiting. Kneel
yourself down there, on stone-
hearted stone.

Set down your hope too.
It could be mistaken. And
fold up that map. It may
also be wrong.

Though it be dark here
beyond all believing, with
no place for faith, no, just rock-
hardened rock,

unfasten, for now, the great
weight of your seeking — it
may, as you say, someday lead
your return —

but not even love is
from you here needed.
Suffer the silence, let all
rest in naught.

Stay down if you can,
eyes blind and knees
bleeding, all lost, all forsaken
unready for thought.

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