Return: Crossing the Threshold Again
“Come, night,” William Shakespeare
Crossing the Threshold Again
Remember the threshold we crossed way back in stage 5 (accompanied by Emily Dickinson’s “I started early – took my dog”)? We have to cross it again to get home. What was hard and dark is still hard and dark, but we know the way. We have walked through the multiverse. We can cross as many times as we like: any night, every night.
“Come Night” from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II
Juliet calls for her Romeo. He cannot declare his love under the “garish sun,” No, love must wait for the “gentle night.” The Song of Solomon declares, “Love is as strong as death” (Songs 8:6), and Shakespeare’s lines are about both love and death — “when he shall die…” When, not if.
Spoiler alert: Romeo and Juliet ends with their deaths. But their love is eternal (I am writing about it even now). This romantic love, this eros, it’s necessary. It’s a superpower that enables us to leap tall thresholds in a single bound. Even then, sometimes it hurts like hell.
But oh, to have loved!
Be a Hero
My friend Callie Feyen wrote a version of Psalm 4 in which she remembers a graduate school professor admonishing them to “Turn out the lights! / he said, “Make it darker.”
I have followed that advice in my own life. When my journey got dark, I turned out the lights. I made it darker. Walking in the dark became a spiritual practice. It’s how I begin my day, with what Dickinson called “Night’s possibility!” The night is dark, but I am not. I walk the streets burning.
How will you find your way through the transcendental darkness that is the threshold you already crossed? By making it darker. By turning out the lights. We didn’t get here because we’re lost. This is the main road.
Light, take your time.
What does the poem say about your hero’s journey?
Try to learn at least a little of it by heart.
If you like, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I loved this book. As soon as I finished, I began reading it again.”
—David Lee Garrison, author of Playing Bach in the D. C. Metro