A Box Full of Darkness, the Best Gift of All

Sumi ink, Metallic Pen & Gel Pen on Watercolor paper – Words: Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver, a poet and national treasure, was our prompt for week thirty-seven. We were to be inspired by any of her poems or quotes. After reading much of her work, this quote stuck out for me: Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift. I probably created ten versions of this, all with different variations of dark boxes. It wasn’t until I actually wrote the word ‘darkness’ in the shape of a box and muddled it with ink and wet paper towels that I felt I had brought my interpretation to life.

I had never read this quote until this prompt, once I did I knew it was the words I wanted to develop. For anyone who has had to deal with a box of darkness it explains everything, even if they are still struggling to open the box and appreciate it’s generosity. We are who we are because of the things and people we have experienced, some light and some very dark. We are not always able to process what we find in that box full of darkness at the time we open it. Sometimes it takes much more time and other experiences to help us understand that gift we have been given.

I would not be who I am today if I had not been given my own share of boxes full of darkness. At the time I wasn’t prepared, so time has given me the ability to fully appreciate the gifts those boxes brought. The serendipity of it all is that now I am better prepared to help others deal with their boxes, their pain, their sorrows because I have lived and learned from my own. It is one thing in life to learn your own lessons, it is totally another skill set and gift to share your life with others so they can fully live each day.

Maybe it is time for you to deal with or appreciate your own box full of darkness. It might not have been what you always wanted for your birthday and yet it is the best gift anyone can receive.

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