No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.
― Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
The villages were lighting up, constellations that greeted each other across the dusk. And, at the touch of his finger, his flying-lights flashed back a greeting to them. The earth grew spangled with light signals as each house lit its star, searching the vastness of the night as a lighthouse sweeps the sea. Now every place that sheltered human life was sparkling. And it rejoiced him to enter into this one night with a measured slowness, as into an anchorage.
Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.
―Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace
And then, like most of the times she went down that road of thought, things started lighting up. Rays filtered through the smog like tentacles – and a quite intangible hope infected the darkness with its resolution. She never knew where these urges to ‘move forward’ came from. Their source eluded her – but she knew they were there somewhere, just as mysterious and uncontrollable as the darkness.
To my mind, faith is like being in the sun. When you are in the sun, can you avoid creating a shadow? Can you shake that area of darkness that clings to you, always shaped like you, as if constantly to remind you of yourself? You can’t. This shadow is doubt. And it goes wherever you go as long as you stay in the sun. And who wouldn’t want to be in the sun?
―Yann Martel, Beatrice and Virgil
From a place of darkness
Stars watch the wounded dreams sigh
On their bed of aches and broken skin
But they are dreams, and all they know is how to rise
―Mona Soorma, Unrequited: Poetry From The Hurting Heart
Public Domain Image via The United States Bureau of Land Management
If you live in the dark a long time and the sun comes out, you do not cross into it whistling. There’s an initial uprush of relief at first, then-for me, anyway- a profound dislocation. My old assumptions about how the world works are buried, yet my new ones aren’t yet operational.There’s been a death of sorts, but without a few days in hell, no resurrection is possible.
―Mary Karr, Lit
Whatever can be threatened, whatever can be shaken, whatever you fear cannot stand, is destined to crash. Do not go down with the ship. Let that which is destined to become the past slip away. Believe that the real you is that which beckons from the future. If it is a sadder you, it will be a wiser one. And dawn will follow the darkness sooner or later. Rebirth can never come without death.
―Robert McNair Price