Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life by Joan Chittister

Our modern world is full of contradictions and I think this is part of our being plugged in all the time. We live busy lives in order to feel fulfilled and are sometimes lonely in a crowd. We want more free time but then are bored easily. How do we navigate this modern day conundrum? Between the Dark and Daylight explores this question. I wanted to read this book because I was intrigued by the title. I am kind of a late night owl myself and I can identify with the late night anxieties and thoughts that keep you awake and pondering before you go to sleep or during the night. Sister Joan is very insightful and thoughtful. She suggests it is these very contradictions that trouble us but also by embracing them we can become more aware and more human. What exactly is more human? I think it means more our true selves. From the chapter entitled “The Noise Within the Silent Self” I quote ‘The major question of a person’s life lies in whether or not we are willing to bring both parts of the self together- the public one and the hidden one- to stop pretending, at least to our selves, in order to become the person we seem to be”. I think this encapsulates the overarching theme of the book. The chapters are short and easily managed during one sitting, but I found myself shutting the book and pondering the content. Right after finishing the book, I started to reread it again and I hardly ever feel that way about a book. Sometimes you need to sit with a sentence a little longer. I will be using my highlighter and making more connections the second time read through. This is the type of book you will cherish and reread. I would definitely recommend this book to you. Possibly the best time to read it would be during your “Between the Dark and Daylight”. Of course this can mean when we feel the “dark” of loneliness or uncertainty and the “light” of consolation and clarity. You won’t want to miss this spiritual journey during both these times of our life.

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