Lately, I have been going through some old writings (mostly half coherent thoughts, ramblings, and semi-poetic reflections) for a new project I am working on about what it means to experience what John of the Cross has called the Dark Night of the Soul. I can’t say much of the writings are “good” in a traditional sense but they do seem to mostly convey the difficulty of the Dark Night and my own personal experience of walking (probably more like crawling if we are being honest) through it.
One piece in particular really stood out to me this week so I thought I would share it! It is a poem ( I use this word very lightly) of sorts that I scratched out on the back of an offering envelope during a Sunday Worship service a couple of weeks after getting the news I was being fired by the church I worked for at the time.
Maybe it will speak to you.
ps. It does in fact contain some strong language that some may consider “profane” so if that kind of stuff is offputting I suggest not reading any further.
A poem from the Dark Night of the Soul
You said if a grain of wheat falls to the earth it doesn’t remain alone so I set sail with hope but now all that seems to be left are shipwrecks and broken bones (homes).
I heard your voice call from the waves and stepped out of this goddamn boat and still sank.
“It comes in waves! It comes in waves!”
Every swell capsizes and I still can’t catch my breath between the breaks.
That french Jesuit with cosmic eyes once said “Seeing. One could say that the whole of life lies in seeing... To try to see more and to see better is not, therefore, just a fantasy, curiosity, or a luxury. See or perish.”
But I can’t see shit. So what does that mean?
Am I still blinded by the eyes that I inherited from my father, that he got from his father, and he got from his father’s father?
I don’t know how to pray as I ought. And I know the blind man who saw the third heaven said the Spirit intercedes... But I ain’t no Damascene.
Angelic dialects and cloven tongues.
Fire in my lungs.
Speaking curses under my breath between wordless groans.
These are the only words I can muster up... What the… F̶u̶c̶k̶ Faith?
Too little faith?
Maybe I just don't have enough faith.