But a grave separateness has invaded the world… ~ Naomi Shihab Nye
It is said that in the beginning, darkness hovered over the face of the earth. God separated the dark from the light, the night from the day, created the moon and the sun, and decreed that all of this was good.
Oh, how we fight the separateness, the disconnectedness, the darkness, the aching spaciousness and silence that often seem to reign. We are loathe to call such “good.” Still, there is something about the darkness that connects us most profoundly to ourselves and to each other. And this is good. Not as reason or justification for the grief, the violence, the harm, the graves; but as evidence of light’s endless, undaunted, and determined presence, despite it all.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes tells an old, old story of when Mother Moon was stolen. At its end, these words:
On nights there was no light to guide, and so many people became lost, and so many children became orphaned, and so many people suffered, the villagers decided they must go and find what had become of the moon. Armed with torches and clubs, they trekked through the night into the bog, sinking down into the wet and slimy grass all the way up to their knees, and cold and wet they continued on. The evil things were about and surrounded them, scratching and clawing at them, but the flames from their torches kept them safe.
And they came to a great boulder, and they said they did not think this boulder was in this place before. There was a little lip of light all the way around it that shown whiter than white. With great excitement they lifted and they hauled and they tugged until the boulder rolled away. And then staring down into what seemed like the most beautiful face they had ever seen, they saw eyes filled with the love of humanity.
This is what we seek, and this is what we find when darkness threatens to overwhelm: “…eyes filled with the love of humanity.”
Ours. Other’s. Always.
May it be so.
(This post acknowledges and grieves darkness’ aftermath in Beirut, Baghdad, Kenya, Syria, and Paris. In endless hope that light will dawn…)