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A poetic essay
Good evening, readers! This week, we are excited to share a piece with you from C.E. (Connie) White. Connie’s piece strays from the traditional short story or poem, and falls more into the category of essay. But, it’s also not your traditional essay, as it includes many poetic devices, and so we decided it was best categorized as a “poetic essay”.
We hope you enjoy reading! Please come back on Wednesday evening and join us for a discussion about the piece.
“The fog comes in on little cat feet,” but it is not cute and fluffy.
Its silence is predation; its stealth is deception. We do not notice its existence until it is thick around us.
But its soothing weight comes with claws—tiny hooks drawing us in, ripping wounds when we try to pull away.
It is nocturnal, gliding in while the sun is down and our eyes closed—while we sleep and let our candles go out.
It fills the nooks and crevices of night. It obscures and separates as we try to find our way.
We cry, “I am lost!” but our voices fall as if weighted, sinking to the earth unheard.
Walls do not deter it, and knives do not trouble it. Man’s weapons cannot defend against it. It comes unbidden and envelopes all.
But just as it has grown its thickest—murky and oppressive—something changes in the distance.
The black sky has become gray, and hope dawns with each subtle shifting shade. Something is coming.
In our cribs, we could not say what; we only knew the relief that came with light—the gray shadow-monsters dispelled, the world resurrected anew after its slumber. And the slumber seemed forever then—an interminable separation from all we knew and loved.
But now we know the relief comes in the sun. The fog does not merely lift; it is burned away by the stark power of a fire ninety-three million miles away. It seems improbable—even impossible—that something would—that something could—come so far. And why?
To burn the fog, to break its power, to fight the dark and send it running, to help us see. While the sun lingers behind the clouds, some shroud may yet remain, but beams pour through like shafts opening up the way. And sure as the sun appears in full, our sight is no longer hindered. We see all clearly.
The sun in all its true glory forbids the fog’s existence. Its claws retract, and our way comes clear.
But the dark—the dark still exists. There is a place we cannot yet go where the light never dulls, but on our plane, the darkness simply hides and cowers behind and beneath.
To unsee—once the fog evaporates and the sun has revealed its glory in full—we must choose to live in corners and dungeons. We must live in lairs built by dragons who woo with hoards of ill-gotten treasure we can hold and see, but never own.
But to live in the light is to live in the open air, to know where we are going, and to see things in all their reality. There is no more hiding when we live in the sun.
In our youth, we wished the sun would stay forever.
Now we know that even when we cannot see it, it is not gone. All is in motion, but the sun has not deserted its place. It is faithful in returning; we do not have to worry in the dark whether the light will come again. We have seen, again and again, that it will do so.
And we’ve learned to keep our candles and sometimes even our fires lit through the night; our little sun-imitation repels what no mere sword can defend against. And so the curtain of fog no longer plunges us into confusion with its haze.
There is darkness, yet we can still see.
There is darkness, yet we know it is not forever.
There is darkness, and it seems that it’s always getting darker.
But now we know there is the sun, and it is always coming back.
When the dark is darkest, that impossible sun that seems so far away is just over the horizon, ready to keep its promise.
Thanks again for coming here and reading! Feel free to read again and let your mind wander in the way of metaphor… and specifically, Christian and Biblical metaphor. And, come back on Wednesday for a discussion and let us know your thoughts.
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