Thursday, April 03, 2008

tough slugging...

So I've been reading "Dark Night of the Soul" by St. John of the Cross. (written in spanish in the 16th century, translated into English 1930ish). It's been a tough read (for me). There is some good stuff but there's a lot to get through to get at it. I had been resisting this book a little and although I'm enjoying it, it's not easy. I usually read through things rather quickly, not so much this book. If you're interested in it you can find the manuscript on a number of websites (it's public domain now), here's one.

I thought I would post for you the "stanzas" upon which St. John of the Cross talks about through the whole book. The numbers are used like verse numbers through the book to help you keep up. Let me know what you think. If you've read the book tell me what you learned...

I might even have a series of photos in my head with regards to this book, maybe not, but I've a few ideas. Without any more fluff -


1. On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings—oh, happy chance!— I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest.

2. In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised—oh, happy chance!— In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.

3. In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me, Nor I beheld aught, Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart.

4. This light guided me More surely than the light of noonday To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me— A place where none appeared.

5. Oh, night that guided me, Oh, night more lovely than the dawn, Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved!

6. Upon my flowery breast, Kept wholly for himself alone, There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him, And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.

7. The breeze blew from the turret As I parted his locks; With his gentle hand he wounded my neck And caused all my senses to be suspended.

8. I remained, lost in oblivion; My face I reclined on the Beloved. All ceased and I abandoned myself, Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.

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