Dark Night of the Soul

Harvey wanted to dive into his ugliness; he intentionally reached for those long hours of soul desolation. He waited. He paced, ready to face down whatever was to come.

Paulette’s, though, busted loose uninvited, catching her completely off guard when she was already hurting, feeling crumbled, and vulnerable. When all she really wanted was some quiet gentle feelings for a change. A few flowers. Some sunshine. A way out of all that inner torment for even just a moment.

Had she had brought only nastiness out of her childhood? Hadn’t there been anything sweet she could remember instead?

As she wandered back to her cabin, searching for even a single fond memory, light faded everywhere around her.

Aw, c’mon, she thought. Everyone had some happy childhood memories. She had to have at least a couple.

How about the coloring? Children enjoy coloring; how about that? She’d spent hours and days on her art. It was as close as she could remember to having her Mamma stand over her with anything even remotely resembling approval. Her books and comics could be tales of Jesus, but coloring books had to be Old Testament because “No child’s impure hand could touch a crayon to the sweet beautiful face of our beloved Lord and savior Christ Jesus.”

So the little girl had scrunched down over Daniel in the lion’s den. Samson screaming in rage, pain, and terror as they blinded him with daggers and torches. The redder she made the flowing wounds of a man of God shot full of arrows, the richer the flames around those three men being burned in an iron box, the longer Mamma let her stay out of that closet.

– From “The Gardens of Ailana”

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