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I was in the midst of my "Long Night of the Soul," as long-dead St. John of the Cross called it centuries ago, when I asked the ever present question so many of us have asked in our lives:

"Who the hell are you God?  Or are you a God?  Are you even a you?"

It had been a hard day, beginning in the wee hours of the preceding morning when I felt something traipsing across my face, ever so slowly.

My dream of my nightgown being up for sale was interrupted by Yipes! A darn Stink Bug!  I threw him across my bed and tried to go back to sleep to find out how much my old nightgown went for.

But sleep wouldn't come.  I couldn't get my mind off that cruddy ugly bug previously on my face, and now somewhere on my bed, just waiting to pounce on me again.  I turned on my light and hunted down the little critter.

"There he was!"

Should I kill him?  No, I'm a Quaker.  Can't kill anything.  Besides these things get even with you after you kill them.  They stink!  So I picked up the varmint and threw him across the room, giving him one more chance to stay alive.

But by then my night was ruined.  I couldn't sleep.

And now I was in my bed again trying to go to sleep.  But sleep wouldn't come.  I kept thinking about that bug crawling on my face.  I had seen another one earlier in the evening, and God forbid, I killed it BAD with my furry shoes.  And they were right, the little guy stunk up my entire room!

I hadn't eaten much.  My stomach was growling.  I decided to read, taking off of my bed table a book about the Gnostics, and how they believed in awareness but not really God per se.

Darn, it was my Dark Night of the Soul, and there might not even be a god out there somewhere out among the clouds to notice me. This whole Dark Night of the Soul might be completely wasted with no god to notice my suffering.

Still sleep wouldn't come.  I was wide awake, ready for another stink bug to attack in vengeance his brother or sister's death by my thick-threaded shoe.  The odor was setting him on track.  And maybe there wasn't a God to help me!  And I never did find out how much my nightgown was worth!

I tossed and turned, couldn't get comfortable.  I felt a tickle around my neck.  I swished my hand across it.  Nothing there.  My forehead felt weird.  Nothing there either.  I was too hot.  I kicked off a layer of blankets.  I was lonely.  Who could I tell about my Dark Night of the Soul that  was happening to me right then?

What did the ancient saints do way back then?

I switched on my bedside light again, and rummaged around for my book of all the saints the Catholic Church had ever canonized, and ended up reading about these guys who witnessed to the Armenians back around 500 AD.  The print in the book was about a 8 point font, so had to try to decipher just why they were made saints.  The one guy had two sons.  He became a bishop or pope, so he made one of his sons a bishop like he had been.  I guess there was no celibacy back then.  And maybe that's why the print was so darn small.

When I and my eyes decided we were now both tired enough, I put the book back and shot off the light, assured that by now sleep would surely come.  All that came was a growling stomach.

So downstairs at 2 AM I traipsed, and made toast and hot milk, succumbing to an aspirin, as well, to bring on the drowsies.

Again the doubts arose, intertwined with the fear of stink bugs, where was my God?  Was the God I had learned about in Catholic school just a fairy tale like the tooth fairy or Santa Clause or Elvis?  Was I sucker to believe all this junk into my 60s?  Was I able to believe in just the grandeur of being in awareness?  Was my soul to just merge with that big awareness in the sky that no one could see?  Was this the closest thing we could come to an afterlife?

No, I like the idea of a Sugar Daddy God better.  Sure this God I had learned about wasn't too keen on being sexual a whole lot, but I finally got used to that, realizing that maybe I was no longer a virgin, but at least I didn't practice birth control like those protestants and the other 99 percent of Catholics.

If there was no God in me or out there looking at my suffering this Dark Night of the Soul, then who was?

I opened my eyes.  It was now about 3 AM, and I saw a glowing white from a picture near my bed.  There was God, showing himself (or herself or itself) to me.  Then I remembered, that was the white horse standing along side Sir Galahad.

There was my God, a Magnificent White Horse, the Almighty White Horse, who could chase away stink bugs, protect me during my remaining few hours of sleep, could understand my Dark Night of the Soul, and maybe even let me ride him in the afterlife someday.

This Almighty White Horse was glowing at me!  No wonder I had always been drawn to horses ever since I was a little girl!  Sure, in those days, I like Black Stallions, but a White Horse?  I could live with that.  He was right there along side my bed, along with his disciple Sir Galahad, probably on a search for the Holy Grail or maybe just Green Pastures where their souls could overflow.

Oh, Holy White Horse, thank you for standing beside me in stead as I try to purge this horrible and sleepless Dark Night of the Soul.

You may not be the grandfatherly old guy I had always envisioned, but you are strong and steady....and so much better looking!  Go ahead and stomp on those stink bugs as you lead me to the sweet green pastures of your love.

Originally posted to people power granny on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets , DKOMA, and Community Spotlight.


How is your spiritual life?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Hope This Helps. I Hate Bugs! (4+ / 0-)

    Natural Insect Repellent Plants And Pesticides

    I would plant them around the (outside), base of your house. The bugs come in from outside.

    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

    by rebel ga on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 10:38:36 PM PDT

    •  I lived in Charlottesville a year ago and got (8+ / 0-)

      introduced to stink bugs there. "Don't crush them!" I read, so of course I crushed one to find out...yup. Don't crush them. Landlady and I would scoop them onto a piece of paper and consign them to the Charlottesville sewer system (possible movie idea here: fist-sized mutant flesh-eating stink bugs emerge from the sewer. There's a mama stinkbug as big as a Cadillac down there. Yo, Hollywood! Call me, baby!) One time, I was in the spare room and heard was stink bugs, coming in from wherever (hell, I'm guessing) and hitting the carpet. I wanted a license plate that said STNKBG, but it was taken.

      I now live in Virginia Beach, where I'd seen nary a stink bug...but one night months ago, I smelled one, so seemingly close that I jerked awake and looked for it. Nothing, and I still haven't seen or smelled one. So it muct have been a dream, but never before have I had an olfactory dream.

      •  I've heard about stink bugs and know why (3+ / 0-)

        you don't crush them.

        They're like water bugs or roaches right? That's why I said put the plants around the base of the house. Some potted ones inside might help too.

        I guess they climb up from the ground and get in whatever cracks in the building that they're able to. Ugh what a horrible situation!

        Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

        by rebel ga on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 05:35:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why Crush Insects? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Prof Haley, jfromga, Chi, rebel ga

          Unless they're scorpions, stingy spiders, mosquitoes, or maybe roaches. Seems like a rather shitty and selfish thing to do, when you can just scoop them out of your space, or shoo them away if you're afraid to handle them. I certainly wouldn't poison my living area to kill them either, unless they're eating my house or clearly putting my health in danger.

          Just sayin' that's what it looks like to me.

          "I never met a man I didn't like." Will Rogers - American Redneck

          by chuco35 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 09:05:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't crush insects. I even shoo flies back out (0+ / 0-)

            the window. I don't have any insects where I live. I wouldn't live where there were bugs. I hate bugs!

            Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

            by rebel ga on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 06:28:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  To crush or not to crush...there's a reason for (4+ / 0-)

      elimination if you are a tomato grower...those "leaf leg bugs" that I see around my yard in the spring are now my mortal enemies. I spent one entire summer trying to eradicate the clever blag legged babies that they lay on the tomato and then scurry around the opposite side of the fruit when you try to pull them off or spray them.

      One season with these creatures and you'll kill everything that remotely resembles a stink bug...I'm angry just thinking about them.

      Beautiful diary, no matter the bug eradication method used.

      I can do everything but earn a living.

      by alabamaliberal on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 09:36:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! (2+ / 0-)

    That's a lot of thinking for a night of insomnia. I had that print of Sir Galahad for a long time, although mine never glowed at me ;8>)]

  •  Perhaps a lullaby would have helped. (3+ / 0-)

    If I listen to a song before bed, I sleep better.

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 05:23:52 AM PDT

  •  thanks for the st. john infusion (4+ / 0-)

    "Those who fall while heavily laden will find it difficult to rise under the burden."  

    --San Juan De La Cruz, "Sayings f Light and Love"

  •  Power Granny in (7+ / 0-)

    her 60`s, even your pictures says you are not old. I am
    sorry about your bugs problem and admire your belief of
    the afterlife, I too embrace that belief...but "I am" old.

    You must write again and let us know how much your nightgown sold for if you found out. Granny you sound lonely and the bugs are eating at your confusions about whether there is a God or not..In that sense I am like you.

    Old men tell same old stories

    by Ole Texan on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 06:50:48 AM PDT

  •  Stink bugs can be vanquished by a spray made (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Regina in a Sears Kit House, Chi

    of dish soap (I've seen recipes with dawn or ivory) some water and some alcohol.  Lots of info on the web including how to trap them into a group (outside) before spraying.  

      The white horse has a second meaning according to some in relation to the mormon candidate in the presidential race, I'm glad your white horse was next to Galahad.  

  •  Anabaptist is missing from your list (0+ / 0-)

    Curious about how you would qualify yourself as a Quaker?  

    •  I attended meetings for many years (2+ / 0-)

      Lately I haven't been attending many Quaker meetings.  Probably more of a Seeker than a bonafide Quaker.  Nevertheless, I respect all life like many Quakers I know.  I just eventually missed the sermons found in other less-quiet services.  Somedays when I feel extra meditative, I will attend a Quaker meeting, like maybe on Easter Sunday when I don't feel like dressing up in new clothes like most other Christians.

      Making a better world for those who follow us!

      by people power granny on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 07:13:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Since I'm Spiritual, But Don't (2+ / 0-)

    subscribe to a religion, or religions, I like to fantasize as you did with your White Horse, with what I find most true to my heart at a given time.

    Lately it's been about reincarnation. God is a Mother who has so much tolerance that She lets us "humans" do as we wish. All of us on earth have wished to be here as mortal beings because we consider it fun, despite all of the suffering and evil. We are thus children reincarnating over millions of years seeking to fulfill all of our human desires, and will go Home when we are ready. But in the meantime we are just having too much fun to go Home yet. Being ready means personal and human evolution towards fully loving beings who finally realize that their longing for the Mother is stronger than having fun on earth. But everyone, even Hitler and Stalin, will eventually get Home to God. It'll just take them that much longer as they go through lifetime after lifetime of hard lives and evolution.

    Just some random thoughts that make more sense to me than my Baltimore Catechism of early childhood.

    "I never met a man I didn't like." Will Rogers - American Redneck

    by chuco35 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 09:19:38 AM PDT

  •  Nicely rendered and well crafted. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScienceMom, QDMacaw

    Thank you so much for your middle of the night musings.

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:27:05 AM PDT

  •  I love this diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScienceMom, Fiona West, QDMacaw

    It's sweet and real and universal, all at the same time. Thank you!

  •  have you seen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the bumper sticker which reads : Dog is my co-pilot ?
    As silly as it sounds, for me, dogs (and cats) are my vision of God.  They love unconditionally and teach us so much about ourselves and how we should treat others.  They treat everyone as if they have a God within them. least most dogs do.  One of my dogs is not so friendly to men with hats or beards or glasses or mailbags.

    Also, the dogs will not go near the stick bugs which have invaded the house but they live to  attack grasshoppers.

    •  My guardian angel (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      until last year was a stray cat that turned up on my doorstep, adopted me and kept my home bug free for 15 years. She also acted as an early earthquake detection system waking me twice just before things began shaking.

      Cats, dogs and other "dumb" animals retain the innocence and purity with which they are born. They live in the moment. We humans who spend so much of our lives searching for "God" not need look any further than the unconditional love found in their faces.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, people power granny.

      I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the sidewalk. It's so fuckin' heroic. - Saint George Carlin

      by mzinformed on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 04:40:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was a little confused by the poll (0+ / 0-)

    offering both "non-existent" and "atheist" choices. I went with the latter because I had a better idea what you meant by it. How are those two different, to you?

    into the blue again, after the money's gone

    by Prof Haley on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 12:48:39 PM PDT

    •  Really they are very similar. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prof Haley, muddy boots

      However, non-existent I think deals with not even considering any kind of spirituality.   Spirituality and religious thought has no appeal to them at all.

      Atheist in my opinion are those who have considered the thought, but have decided there is no God.  They may still have a deep reverence for things like nature, love, etc.

      I would rather associate with the latter because at least they have considered how and why they believe as they do.  

      Making a better world for those who follow us!

      by people power granny on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 01:25:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is me... (0+ / 0-)

        raised to avoid the church, my dad and I spent many weekends backpacking as he said whatever god was all about he always felt closer to it in nature than in a church of society folks posturing to impress each other.

        My mum sent me to sleep admonishing "sweet dreams" which is how I read your diary - your god is a sweet dream.

        The atheist in me then says "not much of a god..."

        But I do have a spiritual practice and I deal with the god issue equating god with reality. It can be a bitch sometimes, which seems about right.

        The spiritual practice boils down, in the end, to simply "be kind." That is not as easy as it sounds, especially when facing stink bugs in their many incarnations.

  •  LOvely. I hope you walk with your white horse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    through many dreams or meditations or travellings.  Whatever you choose to call them.  When an animal shines for you in the dark night, it's good to see where they may lead you.

    I was a black stallion as a child too. :)  I realized eventually that was because I thought a black stallion was the wildest and freest of horses.  But when  horse shined for me it was a golden mare, that carried me through the dark, to the shores of day.

    Peace, sister.

    "Every part of you belongs to you." -- from a story of Virginia under the Personhood law. Read it here.

    by Fiona West on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 06:49:35 PM PDT

  •  I swallowed a stink bug......once (0+ / 0-)

    with a handful of just picked blueberries.  They taste almost as bad as they smell!  Loved your story.

  •  There is only one correct poll answer n\c (0+ / 0-)

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 08:39:01 AM PDT

  •  This is an extremely good link on The Night (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you, whoever you are, for buying me a lifetime subscription. I am not worthy! Sincerely,

    by Sprinkles on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 12:14:03 PM PDT

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