Light the Candles till the Morning Comes

Credit: Ami Vitale

This is not a masterpiece by Rembrandt. Nonetheless, it is a sublime work of art. This picture was taken in the West Bank city of Nablus in the early 2000s. Outside, a brutal conflict was unfolding. But here, in the middle of it all, a Palestian couple dances together during their wedding ceremony in a captivating expression of love, a profound moment that reminds us that the things that give us joy always find a way to rise above the tragedies. The scene instantly reminds me of a moving poem by the late Poet Laureate Mark Strand (1934 – 2014) entitled, The Coming of Light.

The Coming of Light

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love,
the coming of light.
You wake,
and the candles are lit
as if by themselves,
stars gather,
dreams pour into your pillows,
sending warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.

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