Days of slikkery rain sheened the hand-sized leaves of the London Plane tree outside my kitchen window, even more haunting in its post-dusk grayness. Its somber tone spoke to gloom, to the lethargy of inner canyons of depression—my hangout within the consciousness of daylight.

My terminal illness weights my spirit, confines my feet in leaden boots, and moans for release, but there is none, save sleep, with “the cocktail.” But even there, troubling dreams abound that seem unrelated to any experience that I’ve had or read about.

Such interludes characterize the dark night of the soul when the Sacred feels painfully absent, when abandonment to isolated ash-pits tastes grainy, the “dessert” of fruitlessness.

It only occurred to me yesterday to begin writing of this experience: in faith, know that the Sacred is never closer to the sufferer confined to inexplicable darkness. Purification is what the mystics call it, and no one is free from it.

Release from such psychic-scraping does occur, its duration, though, unknown. Only through endurance does spiritual growth occur, and that’s the point of experiencing plant earth.

With the Psalmist, I often cry, “Create, O God, a clean heart within me.” On my own, this is impossible—so often referenced in this blog.