Holy darkness


Is it darkness that we fear

Or the possibility of

No longer knowing?

This shrinking down

From adult to tiny child

As the tentacles of night

Enfold us

Is like a passage from this place

To another

It is the terror in need

Of a mother

It is the foxhole we share

With each other

But then what is it- this conspiracy of biology?

This delusion we shape

In rods

And cones?

Perhaps the darkness can be holy

Stripped of neon

It glows

And crackles

And beyond the edge of us

Off the rainbow register

There is a seeing

Without seeing

And a knowing

That knows

Nothing

Out in the indigo darkness

You are

And here are we

With hardly a spark

Between us

Shining


Starlit darkness…

The stars are out.

And Michaela reminded me of a discussion we had a few years ago about the mystery of God. It stemmed from me quoting Gregory of Nyssa, who apparently said something like this-

The move towards God is a journey into Holy darkness.

It really resonated with me- it spoke of the mystery of God, and the presence that we often feel in open spaces. It also spoke to me of a process of unknowing that I was experiencing at the time- a loosening of absolutes and a discovery of faith that is no longer built from stones, but is made up of reflected flecks of light.

The first collection of writing I put together was called ‘Blue Dark‘ because of old Gregory… and because of a lovely poem by our friend Susan.

At the time of our discussion, some of my friends (and Michaela) did not get it. God is LIGHT not darkness they said. Darkness is about fear and loneliness…

Then Michaela had this encounter with starlight.

And, unusually for her, wrote a lovely poem. I thought it time to reproduce it here, along with some photo’s taken this evening…

Starlit darkness

In the darkness
Is a childhood fear
Safe from one streetlight
To the next
Fear locked away
Till I am again
Out alone
No streetlights to rely on

In the darkness
Is no hope
No mystery
At best nothingness
At worst a nightmare
Waiting to happen

But then you talk
Of the starlit darkness
And I remember for a moment
The fear
The quick steps up our hill
Only to stop halfway
Breath taken by the beauty
Eyes lifted heavenward
Thankful for the big sky
Eyes searching something familiar
But yet awesome

No more fear
Only wonder
At the beauty of the darkness
That brings out the stars.

Michaela Goan
December 2007