7th January 2004–12th February 2018
It took a minute. Less than a minute.
All those months of fear and the anticipation
of pain – mine, of course. In seconds,
her eyes simply closed. Gentleness
is like that. And love. I had my hand
on her head and was stroking that soft place
in front of her ear, the place the silver
of pussy-willow in spring, though that
should be dog-willow. I was singing.
Yes, I carried on singing for minutes
though my voice couldn’t bear me up,
though I was the desolation of a distant
foghorn, broadcasting to nothing,
nowhere, no-one, on and on.
Listen, you have to bear the darkness.
You have to hear it. You have to walk
into the darkness willingly, without
wishing for light. If you don’t (I wrote
once), the darkness will come looking
for you. Listen, the journey to the
Palace of Nowhere is not long,
not even arduous. You have
simply to open to darkness, let it
into the sanctum of your heart
until it meets with light and is melted;
and in that marriage you might
at last be free.
© Roselle Angwin, 15th Feb 2018
'Palace of Nowhere' is a phrase of Thomas Merton's