The Dark Night of the Soul

Waking up this morning and listening to the news about the children shot dead at a primary school in Connecticut…Took me back to 1996 and a newsflash about the shooting of a class of tiny children in the sleepy little town of Dunblane in Scotland.Sometimes the night is so dark that words fail to do justice to the awfulness of the actuality.

Last night, I was reading about the beautiful Spanish Mystic, Juan de la Cruz and his contemplation of the Dark Night of the Soul which so many people experience in their own particular and painful ways. What i love about his work is that through all the struggle and agony, through all the conflicts and contradictions, through all the duende, Juan de la Cruz finds optimism in the journey towards the light. 

The dark night is both safety and treachery, solace and terrifying loss of comfort, security and threat. The struggle is the irrepressible human desire for goodness to somehow overcome.

At the end of a powerful film, Guernica, the plea remains for love to conquer all. Guernica. A sleepy little town in Spain that was chosen as an experiment for fascist bombs.

It’s sometimes almost impossible to retain faith for better things but perhaps we have no choice…


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