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Rembrandt's Darkness, Rembrandt's Light

Here’s a painting by Rembrandt van Rijn –
mark how he bestows the light…

the light of Rembrandt’s conscious painted scenes
falls where consciousness itself shines strongest:

here on a thinking head, deep
in contemplation of the truth invisible;

here on a melting heart; there,
on a pregnant belly full of life;

on this marriage bed, her body
dissolves into the light of love;

here, the golden helmet and the breastplate
say, heroism has descended on mere man.

But mark, too, that other miracle:
see in this corner, the area of black paint:

this is not darkness; not negation of the light;
this is what cannot comprehend the light;

this is the darkness of the unmanifest,
from which all miracles shall in time arise:

this is the black paint stroked on the canvas
by the same dazzling intelligence
which was Rembrandt; the light
yet stored in darkness; what would that light
of things seen, be, without the mind
that understood and marked the not yet lit?

The secret of that darkness fills
with a brightness that's more beautiful than beauty,
the mind that knows to shut its mortal eyes.

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