‘I follow light’ – Blue Christmas

by Hilary Horn

Today is Blue Christmas! Enjoy this post by Kate Kennington Steer

‘I follow light’

This darkness is a rope, not a prison:

hand over hand I haul myself in

to touch your face, to blossom.


My fingers crawl toward heaven

leaving behind whorling shadows;

this darkness is a rope, not a prison.


I follow light through forgotten

canyons and grottos;

I touch your face and know


that even the sun has a mission:

as it climbs, it grows.

This darkness is a rope, not a prison


not a cell from which I hasten.

Freely, hand over hand I follow

to touch your face, to open and open


like a night-blooming jasmine,

or a well widening with echoes:

this darkness is a rope, not a prison,

I touch your face, I blossom.


‘The Gift’

Maurya Simon

Today I remember those who feel imprisoned – by a physical cell; by the shadow of abuse; by a mind differently wired that keeps defaulting to negative, obsessive or paranoid places; by the failings of bones or blood, synapses or nerves.  

Today I remember those who are incapable of saying for themselves, “help me”.

Today I remember those who have no glimmer there is a God who is loving them in their darknesses; I remember those who cannot say ‘this darkness is a rope, not a prison’ for themselves, who have no idea of how to ‘follow light’, grow away from the bleak places in their lives.

Today I remember those who feel utterly stuck, uncreative, trapped, who feel they cannot ever blossom into myriad ‘hues hewn from hurt’, to use Keren Dibbens-Wyatt’s beautifully evocative phrase.

Today I remember all those who long for meaning, who long for light to emerge out of the dark places in our world and for those who become overwhelmed; all those for whom Christmas cannot be an occasion for celebrating ‘Joy to the world’.

Bringing all these little ones, and myself, before our God, I remember Rumi’s observation: ‘those receiving light give out light’.

May I offer my light freely – the unique light God gave to each of us, that is light like no other – today.

All throughout these months

as the shadows

have lengthened,

this blessing has been

gathering itself,

making ready,

preparing for

this night.

It has practiced

walking in the dark,

traveling with

its eyes closed,

feeling its way

by memory

by touch

by the pull of the moon

even as it wanes.

So believe me

when I tell you

this blessing will

reach you

even if you

have not light enough

to read it;

it will find you

even though you cannot

see it coming.

You will know

the moment of its


by your release

of the breath

you have held

so long;

a loosening

of the clenching

in your hands,

of the clutch

around your heart;

a thinning

of the darkness

that had drawn itself

around you.

This blessing

does not mean

to take the night away

but it knows

its hidden roads,

knows the resting spots

along the path,

knows what it means

to travel

in the company

of a friend.

So when

this blessing comes,

take its hand.

Get up.

Set out on the road

you cannot see.

This is the night

when you can trust

that any direction

you go,

you will be walking

toward the dawn.


‘Blessing for the Longest Night’

Jan Richardson


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