Laura Howard, Sarah Beth Spraggins, Colton Bernasol, Is Perkins, Hannah Lane, Peter Biles, Hannah Miller, Charles Hermesmann, Caeli Keane, Jewell Allen, David Seung
Who are you, sweet light, that fills me
And illuminates the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother’s hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being and buries it in yourself. Away from you it sinks into the abyss
Of nothingness, from which you raised it to the light. You, nearer to me than I to myself
And more interior than my most interior
And still impalpable and intangible
And beyond any name
Holy Spirit-- eternal love!
–– Edith Stein
In these brief words, Edith Stein describes God’s entrance into the everyday brokenness of human life. What strikes me most about this poem is the narrator’s acknowledgement of darkness within herself. Without the sweet light, she cannot take another step; she would sink into the abyss of nothingness. Having known the darkness of herself, she is reliant on the light for all things, even knowing herself.
In this issue of The Pub, contributors engage with the darkness of society head on. They turn our heads to see hidden addictions, the imminence of death, nationalism and colonialism, displacement, and broken families. It may appear as if these pieces are fixated on darkness, but I urge you to see the pricks of light which break into it: the impossible turned possible, the ordinary made divine, human understanding, the endurance of the body. When we see the light of God, we still see the infiltrating shadows.
Like Edith Stein, we might acknowledge the darkness first, and be embraced in light second.