This originally appeared as part of the Daily Sip, a website from the Charles LaFond, an Episcopal Priest who raises money for the homeless and lives on a horse farm in New Mexico with his dog Kai. offering daily meditations and reflections
“What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1: 3-5 (the prologue hymn to John’s Gospel)
It is possible to place glass shards in the bottom of a piece of pottery when placing it into the final firing of the kiln, such that when the glass melts, it pools in the bottom of a bowl and fuses with the glazes which meet it at its edge as has happened with this platter. The light is framed in the darkness.
This is a pottery technique I have always loved in my pottery studio and in fact, the very first piece of pottery I ever made in high school has this glass-melt effect and sits with pride among a collection of tea bowls I keep in my dining room with which to begin and end meals.
It used to be the case that I disliked darkness. Evenings were lonely and boring – especially for a work-addict whose drug of choice was necessarily set aside from the day. And the thing about an addict without his drug-of-choice is that it makes him …uncomfortable…no anesthesia. So evenings were hard before beginning the healing needed to escape the work addiction. One day at a time, as they say. I am in recovery.
Darkness was also frightening because movies and stories of bad things always seemed to take place in the darkness. The dark basement…with the sound in it…and the light bulb suddenly not working…but the actor goes down anyways… Jeez! Do they never learn!?
Evil characters are dressed in black and saviors (and clergy) are dressed in white. People refer to being in a “dark mood” (bad) while others are people filled with “light” (good).
But as I age I am making friends with darkness; my old companion. the scriptures hold my favorite verse of all time and it is above…
“…the light of all people… The light shines in the darkness…”
We are trained to see this in a dualistic way…a fight between darkness and light in which darkness loses and light wins and there is a lot of cheering and high-fiving among the Christians. But is this true? If we did not see it in a dualistic way, one thing or the other, then might darkness and light both be good, needed, healing, lovely?
We begin life in darkness. We are formed in darkness, as was the planet. We rest in darkness. Many make love and some even procreate in darkness. On Easter we begin in darkness and then throw on the lights with lots of alleluias! But I don’t buy it. I wonder if darkness hosts the light as friend, and even as mother.