It stands alone,
solitary Surrounded by darkness,
utterly alone The lamp of one’s life

Molded from the clay of the earth
Hardened by the fire of trial
But only after being shaped by the Potter

It is unique, none else like it
A true beauty, one of a kind
Molded with the utmost care and attention

Yet it is made empty, shaped with a cavernous abyss at its core
A gaping chasm waiting to be filled
Filled with something other than itself
Something other than the clay of which it was made

Its wick is a conduit for life, for energy, for fire
But again, it is empty, waiting to be poured into
Waiting to be lit, to be set ablaze by the Great Flame

It cannot fill itself
This is not possible
It must let itself be filled by Another
It must wait for this, wait for its purpose to be discovered

Amidst the shadows, it waits
Waiting upon waiting,
hour upon hour,
moment upon moment
For it can do nothing else

Encompassed by silence, it listens
Listens to the audible hum of the concrete around it
Listens to the air entering through the cracks in the windows
Listens, yearning to hear the spark of Life approaching

The Blaze approaches, itself an all-consuming fire
Looking down at its handiwork, its beloved, it too waits
Waits for permission, waits for acceptance, waits for surrender
Without such, it cannot pour itself into this vessel
Without such, the two cannot become one

The vessel, realizing its state of emptiness, asks to be poured into
Asks to be entered into
Asks to be filled, to be ignited, to shine brightly

The Spark flows into the vessel, careful not to overwhelm it
Careful not to overflow, not at first at least
The vessel must acclimate, must become used to the presence of the Blaze

Finally, after pouring itself into the vessel, the Great Spark ignites
Spreading outward into the black abyss
Encasing the shadows, the dark spaces, with its brilliance

Yet the vessel cannot see its flame
Not without gazing upon itself in a mirror
Not without looking outward, outside of itself 

The vessel cannot understand the Brilliance emanating from it
Not without having first experienced the darkness, the shadows
Not without having first dwelled in the abyss of blackness

The vessel was made to shine, made for light
Yet without the dark, its own beauty is incomprehensible
Without the dark, its light means little, means nothing
Without darkness to reveal, the vessel’s purpose is muted, stunted

And so, every now and then, its flame is extinguished
Sometimes by its own doing
Sometimes by mere circumstance
It plunges back into black, into shadow

In the dark, the vessel is reminded yet again of why it exists
In the dark, the vessel knows who it is
In the dark, the vessel remembers that which it yearns and longs for

For the Blaze
For the Great Spark
For the Potter

The vessel grows to love the dark
Not because the dark is comfortable or familiar
But because the dark brings to the surface the memory of Light