The Chains in the Darkness
(A Meditation on El Greco’s A View of Toledo – center of The Spanish Inquisition)
The hillside green was a mixture of light and dark,
When the clouds rose up seemingly from below,
Out of nowhere the swirling winds blew through
My cell, whistling through the links of my chains.
Premature darkness it seemed crept into the window
As the wind extinguished the candle that had been
My only light. There I sat in the natural darkness,
Aware of the futility of the artificial walls binding me,
Protecting me, holding me in place, in my cell,
As the light had left so too did my thoughts of man’s
Infinite possibilities, potential, power and control.
What little of a mind I had left, for my days were long
In this cell, behind in a past long gone, slowly
Disappearing from the recesses of my skull, useless
Empty caverns, long vacated, and left to rot.
This is why I stayed, though I knew my chains were not,
And I knew the walls were not, and I knew that man was not,
But somehow I also was not, or had become not,
By years of imprisonment. How can something not
Simply be? Can the non-existent become existent?
Quiet! It is this thinking that landed you here, stop thinking
It only produces chains. This heresy, this unorthodox thinking
Is blasphemy, hateful to God, but why did he give me
These thoughts? They are certainly dangerous to his Church,
But are they dangerous to him? He who brought existence,
From non-existence, order from the chaos monster,
When everything was nothing, formless and void,
He made, gave shape, form, and freedom, for us
To be bound in these stone prisons, for being what He made?
There must be a difference, for the God who did that
Did not make these walls, did not make these chains,
Did not make these rules that I somehow have broken,
But it was only in the darkness that I can see His light,
Through the walls, despite the chains, in my heart,
There is, was, and forever will be natural divine light.