Gray, gray and more gray

Gray, gray and more gray

At 8 a.m. blackness begins to lift as dawn approaches.  By 6 pm. it’s so dark you can’t see the garage.  And in between?  In between it’s often simply gray.  A heavy layer of clouds obscure any dream of sunshine for many days at this time of year.

All morning I pondered the grayness, broken only by occasional breath-taking beauty (like yesterday’s bright red berries.)  Today it’s about 40 degrees, a virtual heat wave, and everything outside the front door drips.  It’s a melting world.  It’s a sodden world.  Walking proves a squishy affair as the watery snow attempts to pull you down.  I spent some time leaning against wet trees, contemplating  this gray world.

And here’s the day’s synchronicity.  I opened one of my favorite magazines, the “Sun” magazine and there’s an article by Victor Frankel, an excerpt from his book “Man’s Search for Meaning.”  As many of you know, Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist sent by Nazis to a concentration camp in 1942.  He refused to submit to despair, focusing instead on the freedom to choose one’s outlook even in dire conditions. 

And here’s what he had to say about gray in the concentration camp: 

Another time we were at work in a trench.  The dawn was gray around us; gray was the sky above; gray the snow in the pale light of dawn; gray the rags in which my fellow prisoners were clad; and gray their faces.  I was again conversing silently with my wife, or perhaps I was struggling to find the reasonfor my sufferings, my slow dying.  In a last, violent protest against the hopelessness of imminent death, I sensed my spirit piercing through the enveloping gloom.  I felt it transcend that hopeless, meaningless world, and from somewhere I heard a victorious “Yes” in answer to my question of the existence of an ultimate purpose.  At that moment a light was lit in a distant farmhouse, which stood on the horizon as if painted there, in the midst of the miserable gray of a dawning morning in Bavaria.  “Et lux in tenebris lucet” — and the light shineth in the darkness.

May light shineth in the midst of all our darkness.  May we seek the light, as did Victor Frankl.   May we look for beauty and hope from within the gray hues.

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