Encompassing the Dark

It’s been quite a few days, I realise, since I last posted here. A head too full of thoughts and a world too full of overwhelming things…

On Sunday, I would have written, but by the time I got home on Sunday evening, my world had changed.

We had spent the day at the Tate Modern art gallery, and we had finished by visiting the Viewing Platform on the 10th floor. Roughly five minutes after we left it, a six year old boy was thrown over the railings by an apparently random teenager. He landed somewhere on a 5th floor rooftop.

Afterwards, I found myself thinking and feeling that it was impossible for me to live and to be a mother in a world where these things happen.

It’s not that I was blind to evil before – it’s just that, since becoming a mother, I feel everything more deeply. Especially the things that happen to other mothers. They could all be me. I could be them. My vulnerabilities are theirs. Theirs are mine. And the innocence and vulnerability I see in my child makes the evil that is in the world that much more intolerable.

And so I felt that I couldn’t write on Sunday. I was in shock, and the idea of writing about anything wise, or beautiful, in the face of so much awfulness and meaninglessness felt like an act of total disrespect.

And I could no longer see the point of writing. The act of evil was so great. My writing such a small and pitiable force against it – I felt. It would not help that mother, or her child.

But, today, I returned to Tate Modern with a friend and her baby. And there was such joy amongst visitors and staff alike to see our little ones enjoying the show. As if we were symbols of the fact that, in spite of the darkness which had hit this place, life and light will carry on. Mothers will keep bringing children to see and enjoy art – and maybe, actually, in a society with so much sickness, it is more important than ever that we do.

And so I know now that acts of finding, or creating, light and beauty in small ways in small places, even, or especially, in the face of this level of darkness and tragedy, is not disrespectful, or pathetic, but essential.

Maybe it is how we move forward, beyond the dark, towards a light that exists not in opposition to it – because we can’t fight it and truly win it seems – but is, instead, great and compassionate enough that it may encompass it.




Sarah Nabarro View All →

New mum, old soul... Finding beauty, wisdom, spirituality, and opportunities for learning in the everyday (hopefully)...

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