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Dark nights of the soul

” In the real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning day after day.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Three in the morning is the time when our blood pressure is the lowest, our wakefulness as well. Paradoxically it gets our bodies to wake up to avoid total shutdown. It is also the time when most industrial accidents happen, think Chernobyl for example.

What Scott Fitzgerald did not know is that our biological clocks, the center in the brain setting the pace to our hormonal cycles, sleep-wake patterns etc.. is reset by the light our eyes perceive. Even the blind mole which has a couple of retina cells left knows there is light during the day. So the blindest mole will know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Now,  a mole drinking straight gin like Scott Fitzgerald would have trouble finding it’s way out of the tunnel and believe life is a long dark night.

One  amazing soul who embodies hope in darkness is Mahvash Sabet who as one of the leaders of the Baha’i Faith in Iran has been sentenced to 20 years of emprisonnement. Baha’is in Iran are subjected to increased persecutions ( see Iran Watch and BIC ).  Mahvash Sabet was for a time sharing a cell with American journalist Roxana Saberi who shared her experience when she was released.  Mahvash Sabet now spends her time in isolation with very limited contact with the outside world. However, her family was able to smuggle poems she wrote. These have been published in their English adaptation. In her  “Prison poems”  she writes about the hardships of captivity she and her fellow inmates suffer from, yet she does not complain for herself. And she talks about hope:

” Remember me,

for I am naught without you,

a beggar at your feet,

dependent on you,

whose very life relies entirely on you.

You are the spirit and I,

the body only:

and yet we are united and intact,

in a single rhyme. – ” 

and in the poem addressed to Fariba Kamalabadi the other baha’i women leader sentenced to 20 years with her she shares her vision of the future, a bright light at the end of the tunnel:

” May your land flourish, your heart leap in ecstasy forever, and your memory rebound with the jubilation of the people of Iran. ” 


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