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Can Darkness Become Our Light? - They Write What They're Told, We Don't!

Can Darkness Become Our Light?

By Carla B.

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“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.“Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—  Only this and nothing more.  Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow — From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore— Nameless here for evermore. And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain — Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating –  Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door— Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—  This it is and nothing more. Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, Sir,  said I, or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you—here I opened wide the door;—    Darkness there and nothing more. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing — Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, Lenore? This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, Lenore! — Merely this and nothing more. Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. Surely, said I, surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore — Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; Tis the wind and nothing more! Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door –Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door — Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou, I said, art sure no craven — Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore — Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore! Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door— Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as “Nevermore.” But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only that one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.  Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered –  Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before — On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before. Then the bird said “Nevermore.” Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store — Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore –Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore  Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”  But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking — Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore— What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore  meant in croaking “Nevermore.” This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing — To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining  on the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er, But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,  She shall press, ah, nevermore!  Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee  — respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”  “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil! –Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted –  On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore— Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”     “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—  Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore— Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”  Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!  Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” — And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting on the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; and his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, and the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; and my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor — Shall be lifted—nevermore!

The darkness of night expresses what for each of us holds as a potential for change. A transformation of sorts. And WE are Not alone in our dark night…for all others too…must journey through this phase of life. As we age and sage, we must also recognize that there will always be a time where significant change can happen, for without which we may remain as children …who have not yet made the journey into wholeness. This later stage marks the point where many of us accept the literal interpretation, to when we put on the mind of Christ — ready to tackle the challenges of an unjust world.

John of the Cross theology takes us to the origin of Christianity, for example in Acts 17:27, Paul says; So they would search for God..though indeed he is not far from each one of us.

In this passage we see that John had the awareness that God transcended and was creator of all matter and is a compassionate presence in a world that suffers. In this great work of the dark night he makes use of metaphor, and the allegorical content of his poem is focused on the journey with the search to seek and find, inner TRUTH.

A most beautiful passage from The Songs of Songs (page 484) tells us:

Upon my bed at night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him who my soul loves.” (Holy Bible NRSV-2008. Oxford Press, USA).

Now John says; One dark night, fired with loves urgent longing I slipped out unseen -my house being all still.

In this dark night the internal fire is lit and although the house is described as being still — the soul remains restless. It is where in our aged years we find our senses start to deteriorate, but we still have the capacity to be enabled to transform, and God waits… and comforts us with his presence. The gift of consolation through love. This is where we drop away from all pretense, all striving…even though we still might be searching for life’s true meaning. Bottom line, the dark night is a stage of transcendence — a point of no return and the watchers on the streets do little but hamper us in our efforts, day and night! We learn a lot as when we awaken and  reshape our life. It is one where we also experience a greater sense of being free, of that unburdening of our self. We might have regret , we may have to admit failures, we may suffer, experience illness and so on. We may well question the meaning of our life, what it has once been …and now become. And when we transit through and transcend — our wisdom increases and we share that wisdom with others to lead them through the fog of their darkness. — #Namaste #Love #Humanity #Wins

Thoughts? Please share with us in the comments below.

Check out more articles from this Author: Carla B.

RELATED: The Raven – by Edgar Allen Poe

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