A House in the Distance

Posted on 2009-09-29. Filed under: Quotes |

This is a poem by Henri Nouwen. As I am up many nights, this poem spoke to me:

Silence is night
and just as there are nights
with no moon and no stars
when you’re all alone
totally alone
when you’re cursed
when you become a nothing
which no one needs —
so too there are silences
which are threatening
because there is nothing except the silence.
Even if you open your ears
and your eyes
it keeps going on
without hope or relief.
Night with no light, no hope
I am alone
in my guilt
without forgiveness

without love.
Then, desperately, I go looking for friends
then I walk the streets searching for a body
a sign
a sound
finding nothing.
But there are also nights
with stars
with a full moon
with the light from a house in the distance
and silences which are peaceful and reflective
the noise of a sparrow
in a large empty church
when my heart wants to sing out with joy
when I feel that I’m not alone
when I’m expecting friends
or remember a couple of words
from a poem I read lately
when I lose myself in a Hail Mary
or the sombre voice of a psalm when I am me
and you are you
when we aren’t afraid of each other
when we leave all talk to the angel
who brought us the silence
and peace.


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