The Cold of the Soul

And there is always winter. Always the coming of that cold place in the soul. I go through the motions. Church, candles, prayers, kissing the icons. But it means next to nothing. I ask over and over if God truly exists. Maybe it is just all a good story, but not the truth. Poet Louise Gluck speaks to my heart’s frozen state:

by Louise Gluck

Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring –

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world

(from The Wild Iris)

Just like the plant in this poem, I long to reawaken, for my heart to be able to respond to God again, to sense some whisper of light breaking through.


  1. Margaret says:

    According to St. John of Damascus (as quoted on our Orthodox daily lives, miracles and widom of the saints and fasting calendar today — and among other difficulties of life) … listlessness should be destroyed by patience, perseverance and offering thanks to God…

    I read over this a few times before posting it. I’m trying to offer you encouragement and this is a difficult subject as I am also prone to the feelings you describe — and described so well in the poem. Frozen translates to listless for me. I do pray that you are not despondent. I do believe that offering thanks to God helps more than anything. Hang in there! (So maybe patience and perseverance help more than I know!)

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