Notes on Darkness, Sue Monk Kidd, Mary Oliver

I rarely access Facebook, and imagine this is not kosher, copying the post. But it was too priceless and heartfelt not to share.

Sue Monk Kidd
Early this morning I read Mary Oliver‘s poem, “The Uses of Sorrow,“ in which appears the haunting image of a box of darkness.
We’ve all been given ‘boxes of darkness’ during our lives. Loss, grief, sickness, disasters, large and small— there’s a seemingly endless array of possible contents.

Now, with Covid and the quarantine, it’s not farfetched to think the entire planet has been presented with a box of darkness. It seems unfathomable how this box could ever become a gift. I only know that the boxes of darkness I’ve been given have, in the end, made me more resilient, a little wiser and a little braver. They have forced me, often against my will, to live inside large questions. To listen. To cross long distances in order to return to a deeper and truer self.

If there are gifts born out of darkness, they include intangibles like these. The ultimate gift in the dark box may be how it prods us to find the inviolate place inside ourselves. It is the mercy we eventually discover at the bottom.

Still, Through Smoky Haze

Plagues are everywhere,
Illness there, fear in our souls,
For just what’s to come.

I can only send,
Love and light and gratitude,
For the life we have.

That young man suffers,
What should only come with age,
Seeing him all healed.

Good man my age, too,
And his wife, they go through pain,
Where will it all lead?

With this man in charge,
Feels like life is upside down,
Who can think this good?

When we fear the worst,
Wishing we could go away,
No one will take us.

Dark as night, my words,
As I feel the others’ pain,
Even as I’m fine.

I can only trust,
That the basic good of man,
Will soon change our world.

Black will matter so,
Brown and yellow and pink too,
We are just humans.

Fear can grip the soul,
Taking all the light away,
When we can’t believe.

I can only trust,
One and all will seek the good,
Goodness will prevail.

Here I give my thanks,
For the blessings in my life,
Smoky air and all.

This is still the day,
When my brother entered life,
Bringing so much joy.

We breathe life in still,
Grateful for each day we have,
Blessed lives we’ve had.

Whether one more day,
Or more years, or decades still,
Grateful for the years.