Sometimes the Darkness is there to lead us to the Light. I have come to believe in Good, because of the intractable presence of Evil. I have arrived upon a faith in a higher power, because of those principalities which reside below. I have managed to cultivate Virtue, only through the refiningly dark graces of Turpitude. I have gained priceless Wisdom in the face of abject Inscience. I have come to know of the infinitude & omnipotence of Love only while seized by the terminable torpidity & inconsolable despair & anguish, of Hate. I have only truly glimpsed of Heaven only after a descent into Madness & Hell. I have found Salvation only on my way towards Damnation. I have learned of Surrender & Serenity only in the face of futile Resistance & Dissonance. I have found common ground with Communal Solidarity only while walking alone the full distance, in Stoic Solitude. I most gaily danced with Destiny whilst languishing within Meaninglessness. I courted Canonical Consummation & Existential Bliss while being savagely spurned by Godlessness & Nihility. Within the rapacious arms of Terror, I found myself indescribably comforted & delivered by the indomitable presence & sovereign power of Grace. In my perpetual Affliction & Exile, do I continue to find Healing & Hearth. Through the blindingly harsh glare of lights which seek to brand upon me, an imago false & unjust, have I always found my Truest Self & Actualization. Through the simplest of Life's Joys, have I also always briefly touched upon the least mundane revelations & Inward Transformations. Whilst enthralled by the illusions of the Flesh, have I learned of that true Freedom found only, in Bondage to the Spirit.
-Valerie Lynn Stephens
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