Monday, August 2

Darkness is Only a Degree of Light (an Advent Reflection)

Our host today is Victoria Ceretto-Slotto. She gives to us, "Darkness is Only a Degree of Light" based on Psalm 42:9-11. More about Victoria at the end of the post. 

Darkness is Only a Degree of Light

 Psalm 42:9-11

 9 I say to God, my rock,

“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
because the enemy oppresses me?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my body,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

Years ago, when I was responsible for educating non-professional caregivers, I opened the teaching module on depression using this psalm. Though we, in the 21st Century, classify certain types of depression as pathology, the psalmist seems to recognize that this unwanted emotion is, for most people, a part of life.

Chemically-based depressions aside, consider the causes of those episodes all of us experience from time-to-time in reaction to an event outside ourselves: loss of a loved one, financial insecurity, misunderstandings, extreme fatigue, failure—the list of causes is extensive. And then there’s what many consider “existential” depression, that down feeling that’s the result of a sense of emptiness, incompleteness. There’s that part of us that seeks something more, something indefinable, something beyond our understanding. This, I believe, is what the psalmist is referring to in Psalm 42. How aptly it ties into the spirit of Advent—that waiting for what is to come, what will fulfill us.

Christianity built the celebration of its feast days around the existing practices of Paganism, recognizing that during winter, just around the time of the solstice, nature hit her nadir. The earth slept, darkness prevailed, people longed for the coming of light. We, too, respond to the influence of nature. Many people hit bottom as cold and darkness prevail. It seems so appropriate that Christmas, and so many festivals of other religious traditions (Judaism, Hinduism…), center on light at this time of the year, when humanity waits for, hopes for, the Sun/Son.


Photo by David Slotto
Photo by David Slotto


Post 21 in the Crystallize Meaning through Creativity: An Advent Event
Scripture: Psalm 42:9-11
Please offer a link to your Advent Reflection using the comments or feel free to leave your thoughts.

About Victoria Ceretto-Slotto:

Victoria Ceretto-Slotto ( ~ a member of the Core Team at and a former nurse, Victoria is a novelist, poet, artist, and a docent at Nevada Museum of Art. Her novel Winter Is Past was recently published. A second novel is in progress.

Victoria finds inspiration in the mysteries of life, death, art and spirituality. She resides in Reno, Nevada and Palm Desert, California where she lives with her photographer husband and two canine kids. Victoria shares some of her poetry on her blog, where she also provides writing prompts and offers coaching with Wordsmith Wednesday.

(c) 2013, essay, Victoria Ceretto-Slotto

(c) 2013, photo, David Slotto

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