Monday, 10 December 2007

What of the night?

What of the night?
Morning comes and also the night.,
If you will inquire, inquire,
Come back again.
Beloved, I inquire, I return again—
What of the night?
And it is all night lately, less light and less light and the days grown dark and ragged at the edges, curling in against the cold, and I vanish under layers of clothing and the weight of the world.

There is a lot of pain here just now, in the lives of those I love, and sometimes I feel I am swaddled in it and like an infant, struggle to get an arm free, a foot, to be just a little less bound. My nice clear path through the woods of academia ended or I wandered off of it. Either way, Dantesque, I have awakened in a dark wood, lost and lanternless.

And I need to light the lantern, with whatever comes to hand. So I am turning off my phone and disconnecting the internet, and descending into the dark well of my heart with my books and my notes and the yawning blank page, hoping to climb back out in a week's time. Wish me luck. Two quotes by wise women come to mind:

It always comes back to the same necessity:
go deep enough and there is a bedrock
of truth, however hard.
May Sarton

So finally a writer must be willing to sit at the bottom of the pit,
commit herself to stay there,
and let all the wild animals approach,
even call them up, then face them,
write them down
and not run away.
Natalie Goldberg

And now I descend, hand over hand, on the rope down into the quiet dark.