the dark night

The Dark Night
by: St. John of the Cross
“On a night of darkness,
In love’s anxiety of longing kindled,
O blessed chance!
I left by none beheld,
My house in sleep and silence stilled.
In darkness and secure,
By the secret ladder and disguised,
O blessed venture!
In darkness and concealed,
My house is sleep and silence stilled.
By dark of blessed night,
In secrecy, for no one saw me
And I regarded nothing,
My only light and guide
The one that in my heart was burning.
This guided, led me on
More surely than the radiance of noon
To where there waited one
Who was to me well known,
And in a place where no one came in view.
O night, you were the guide!
O night more desirable than dawn!
O dark of night you joined
Beloved with belov’d one,
Belov’d one in Beloved now transformed!
Upon my flowering breast,
Entirely kept for him and him alone,
There he stayed and slept
And I caressed him
In breezes from the fan of cedars blown.
Breezes on the battlements –
As I was spreading out his hair,
With his unhurried hand
He wounded my neck
And all my sense left suspended there.
I stayed, myself forgotten,
My countenance against my love reclined;
All ceased, and self forsaken
I left my care behind
Among the lilies, unremembered.”
Here, John writes of rejoicing in his union with God by the path of spiritual negation. Very sensual, which is common among the mystics.
There have been times past when the sense of God’s presence and my great desire for God have been so great, that I have experienced spiritually, emotionally, and physically such things – such passion, such… I just don’t know how to describe it.
That was a good while past. I don’t know whether the passion has waned, whether the desire is gone, or maybe just different now.


Off to Baltimore again this year for Thanksgiving. I could sense that my mother really wanted me to come home this year. All the concerns surrounding my grandmother and the problems concerning my uncle, my mother’s brother, do nothing but add to her frustration and worry. She wanted to come to New York – she would have loved to have seen the balloons being inflated or even gone the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. That is not happening, and this is my last year here. They will be at my grandmother’s for Thanksgiving.
Maybe I should have gone, but part of me just can’t. Selfish? Maybe so. I will have an incredible Thanksgiving meal. I will be in a place that is so relaxing. I will be with people I am comfortable enough with, although…
Another Thanksgiving. What am I honestly thankful for? Am I far too removed from real life to stop, even for a moment, to think and be thankful?