Posted by: drjamm | December 10, 2008

Lean into the darkness

In the darkness and silence of my own life,
I wait,
Listening for the whisper of angel wings,
Longing for a genuine experience of mystery,
Hoping for a rekindling of joy
And the establishment of peace.

I lean into the darkness
And silence.


— Larry J. Peacock

At this time of the approaching Winter Solstice, our culture tends to focus on the “longing” for the return of light. We tend to celebrate the darkest day of the year because it marks the end of Dark and the return – slowly but surely – of Light. We don’t often give our selves time in contemplation about the many ways we need the Dark, however. That’s why I have chosen to discuss this excerpt from Advent Longing. I appreciate how L. J. Peacock says, “I lean into the darkness…” Rather than the Dark being a place of fear, death, or “nothing,” Peacock imagines the Dark as a medium that can be leaned into, something semi-solid that can support us and bend with us — something that can yield with us and return something back to us.

The Dark requires that I switch off my reliance on my eyes for visual navigation through my world. When I am in the Dark, I need to wake-up! my other senses; and I need to become more vibrant in and intentional about how to take in all that is present in the darkness. My eyes might say to the Dark, “There is nothing here!” but my ears and skin and nose can tell me a rich story that my eyes miss when faced with darkness.

When I become trusting of and even excited by the potential of the Dark, I find that, as Peacock says, “I wait, listening for the whisper of angel wings.” Because of the heightened use of my senses, the Dark helps me to better “palpate” the potential of an encounter with the Divine. The Dark helps me “feel” my way along an unknown path, to a meeting place with Those who are more subtle than my eyes can appreciate. Far more than the absence of Light, the Dark gives me tangible assistance by reminding me to use more than my “ordinary” visual senses to encounter this world. The Dark gives me an opportunity to be a Whole Self and to practice using my whole body when Living and Loving in this world.

jamm@brightheartsinging.wordpress.comMay this season of Darkness strengthen ALL your senses, and also, intensify your sense of Longing, Hope, and Mystery. Amen and Blessed be.

Credits and links: Quote credit: Excerpt from the poem, Advent Longing, by Larry J. Peacock. I am grateful to Rev. Jeanette Stigger for sharing this poem with me.

In preparing for this post, I also found a copy of Advent Longing on a web site entitled, “You-a prayerful conversation” at ( written by the very first iHermit I have stumbled across. This iHermit says, “I seek a certain measure of solitude and quiet, to be an iHermit, an internet hermit.” I recommend checking out this contemplative blog and learning about this quieter more reflective use of the blogosphere.

Photo credit: I am grateful to S.C. and E.M.R for risking hypothermia, patiently waiting, and freezing their butts off while I took photo after photo trying to capture this Winter Moonlight alpine scene. I owe you both many steaming cups of hot tea!

bright heart singing, copyright 2008 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)


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