Notes on Darkness, Sue Monk Kidd, Mary Oliver

I rarely access Facebook, and imagine this is not kosher, copying the post. But it was too priceless and heartfelt not to share.

Sue Monk Kidd
Early this morning I read Mary Oliver‘s poem, “The Uses of Sorrow,“ in which appears the haunting image of a box of darkness.
We’ve all been given ‘boxes of darkness’ during our lives. Loss, grief, sickness, disasters, large and small— there’s a seemingly endless array of possible contents.


Now, with Covid and the quarantine, it’s not farfetched to think the entire planet has been presented with a box of darkness. It seems unfathomable how this box could ever become a gift. I only know that the boxes of darkness I’ve been given have, in the end, made me more resilient, a little wiser and a little braver. They have forced me, often against my will, to live inside large questions. To listen. To cross long distances in order to return to a deeper and truer self.

If there are gifts born out of darkness, they include intangibles like these. The ultimate gift in the dark box may be how it prods us to find the inviolate place inside ourselves. It is the mercy we eventually discover at the bottom.

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