Even after all this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights the whole sky.
On Wednesday we hosted writer Mandy Ross, who led a session: ‘Exploring Light and Dark in Different Faith Traditions’. Hearing poetry and prayer from different faith perspectives helped to spark a discussion of light and dark – particularly the question of whether darkness is innately negative: without darkness, how can we appreciate light?
By exploring these ideas in a creative way, we were open to new ideas and empathetic to others’ experinces – somthing that’s essential for making a more just and peaceful world.
The event was one of many taking place across the city as part of Something Good – a creative celebration of Birmingham Cathedral’s 300th anniversary. The words will feed into the ‘Skyline Symphgony’: a sound installation to be pefrormed around Cathedral square on the 2nd and 3rd October.
As well as producing the display pictured, a collective poem was produced with participants each offering a few lines, before being edited by Mandy:
East’s darkness is west’s light,
and only in darkness does whole heaven shine.
Before the cathedral was even a church,
before the city was even a town,
here was a meeting place,
a gathering for seekers,
for those outside the regular round
of religion, of custom, for those who loved silence
and inward light,
who saw that the Light was the light of all –
though only in darkness does the seed germinate.
Then darkness moved in the firmament over Birmingham,
and light emerged in the darkness.
God’s light shone through the industrial furnaces
seven days a week, not just on Sundays, when the furnaces were stilled.
Take heed, dear friends,
without silence in music, without that moment of stillness,
how would we recognise the activity around it?
Darkness is not just the absence of light;
how can we perceive light without dark?
And in how many places of worship, and in how many homes in the city
are candles lit as a sign of God’s light,
the same light though so many names.
West’s darkness is east’s light.
The night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
SHALOM, SALAAM, PEACE of the city to you and everybody.