And what if the darkness is the answer?
What if the answer is not beyond it but within it?
This time of year invites us to consider our relationship with darkness, when the way is unclear or hope savagely withdrawn.
Some may scream at the loss; others grab greedily at light’s solutions.
But maybe we do not need to flee the dark, but can linger awhile and listen to its different tones and different voice, like a language we half-understand.
Perhaps it knows everything we don’t.
No one has put it better than T.S. Eliot in his poem, ‘East Coker’.
‘I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.’
And so we befriend the alien.
In the darkness, we let go of it all, whatever it is.
We imagine ourselves an empty container – yes, imagine that! – holding nothing but now…
…and start again.