Dark night

       …The man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob….
                   —Genesis 32.25

Sometimes calling it “wrestling” is too dramatic:
all that masculine energy, all that huffing,
the moves and countermoves, the dust swirling.
Sometimes the fight stalls.
It’s not like wrestling,
it’s more like stuck.
Your shadow rises up and holds you down,
darkness so dense you can’t move in it. As if under sand.
The octopus of night, inescapable.
Nobody’s moving. Pinned.

Prayers stall. Your reach for God is paralyzed.
You’re not moody or depressed, just yearning.
You push against the silence.
It doesn’t push back, heavy and unmoving as rock.
It’s not a struggle. It’s nothing.
Even God means nothing.

What is hidden
is that the arms of this darkness
hold you with longing. Want you.
Know something. Hope something.
This deepest night
that wraps itself around you
so completely,
so still,
so tenderly,
as if a womb,
let it have you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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