{Burning}

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“The darkness is the place where nearly everything we once knew for certain has been or is being taken from us. Everything we had come to count on as true and right and safe and fair and sacred and meaningful has been called into question. Some of us have always courted the darkness intimately. Others of us are being thrown into it for what feels like the first time. We may have hopeless days. We may ask difficult questions about ourself and God. We may thrash. We may fight monsters. Mount dragons. Cut ghosts free. Slay demons and divorce convention. We may sit in stillness. We may feel immense loneliness or abandonment. The darkness can look countless different ways. Hell, we may even enjoy brief moments of it immensely because in these glimpses it may feel, despite all the swirling emotions, like coming home to us. And this can be the most satisfying feeling of them all.” (The Wild Mystics | Darkness: When the Light is Not Enough)

“Spiritual teachers remind us again and again that suffering is a gift: a crucible to shape us, a guide to lead us, a grace to haunt us. We know it is unavoidable. But when we harness its energy, tap into the dark current below and fall into that deep well with the kind of gritty trust gathered only through a dark night, we make an unexpected discovery: the source of our (season)ing. Our soul is seasoned, strengthened, weathered, shaped, made hardy with the cycles of life and death and life.” (The Wild Mystics | Darkness: When the Light is Not Enough)

“The work of discovery is the work of getting lost, the work of staying not running, the work of meeting your worst fear head-on and becoming swept up in a current of grief so thick and violent you fear you might never breathe again. This is your dark faith.” (The Wild Mystics | Darkness: When the Light is Not Enough)

“Did you know that larvae essentially melt into unrecognizable puddles before re-awakening in brand new forms? In the words of an #iamthrashing prompt from week one, we declare, “this is something I must see to.” We must agree to the melting process. We must willingly enter the cauldron of the dark night. We must allow ourselves and everything around us to become unrecognizable if we hold even the tiniest glimmer of desire for something more.” (The Wild Mystics | Darkness: When the Light is Not Enough)

burning with expectation.

pregnant with anticipation.

am i the one giving birth?

or am i the one being born?

descending into the dark spaces.

feeling free-er than before yet stuck in place.

i am burning.

i am plunging.

into the crooked places.

into the knotted threads.

where light isn’t light like before.

where dark has become a new mystery.

so much to be burned off.

sin.

innocence gone.

covenant ignored.

raped of naivety.

divorced from self.

slung out.

called out.

hurled insults.

stripped reputation.

misunderstood motivations.

slandered name.

future rearranged carelessly.

life came to a screeching halt.

silent pleas.

screams so loud they are left unheard.

a life naked, bare, raw, bleeding, shredding, ragged.

pieces gathered one by one.

pills back into the bottle.

a flicker of life yet remained.

shame clinging tight for decades.

this must be burned off by pure fire.

it must not all be in vain.

purpose to re-emerge.

disrobe the haunting.

unveil hope.

reveal a new name.

be birthed anew.

can the darkness be merciful?

gentle with the tangled mess?

kindness in the broken places?

is there enough light to overcome?

or will i find a new place of rest in what appears dark?

how many more years of labor to endure?

saturated desire arising.

coming forth.

being made.

searing pain bringing new form.

waves of nauseating regrets rolling off.

drops of sweat as grace upon me.

a new voice is being born.

it will not stay silent.

it cannot.

darkness will give birth.

i will arrive with screams of release.

i will not be stillborn.

life will win.

this story, my story, will be different.

{Hope Wood © 2014}

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“That’s all a shadow is—and though you might be prejudiced against the dark, you ought to remember that that’s where stars live, and the moon and raccoons and owls and fireflies and mushrooms and cats and enchantments and a rather lot of good, necessary things. Thieving, too, and conspiracies, sneaking, secrets, and desire so strong you might faint dead away with the punch of it. But your light side isn’t a perfectly pretty picture, either, I promise you. You couldn’t dream without the dark. You couldn’t rest. You couldn’t even meet a lover on a balcony by moonlight. And what would the world be worth without that? You need your dark side, because without it, you’re half gone.” (Catherynne M. Valente)

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