“An apprenticeship with the night is an inheritance I would wish for everyone.” Paula D’Arcy was only 27 when a drunk driver killed her husband and young daughter. But in the midst of her crushing despair, and to her complete amazement, she discovered a presence within her that responded to her fearful cries for help. Her anguished heart was met by a great tenderness and wisdom, which she grew to recognize as a transcendent love. Over time—knowing that pain was not the final say and did not have absolute power—she was able to find her way back to the light.
At some point, we all find ourselves navigating a “dark night.” The feeling of being blindsided by life, disoriented, lost and alone, is common to the human journey. Beyond the loss of loved ones through physical death, darkness may arise when we feel disillusioned, or when we confront unexpected illness, both mental and physical. We may face the dark if we suffer the loss of a job, or the loss of faith. It is a shadow lurking in the depth of addiction, and we know it in the times we feel betrayed and when we are abused. The pain of divorce, the realities of aging, the death of our particular dreams… these all evoke the dark. It wears many faces and names. Each experience has the potential to alter the way we look at ourselves and the way we think about life.
In this captivating new work, D’Arcy begins with her own personal experience of loss and brings the reader with her, explaining how the enveloping darkness eventually began to lift, how night slowly became day again, and how she came to recognize the experience as a natural part of life. Anyone who has experienced great loss, or who has felt lost in the darkness, will gain new hope from The Stars at Night.
Paula D’Arcy, author (Song for Sarah, The Divine Spark, Gift of the Red Bird) and retreat leader, travels widely in the United States and abroad. Her work includes workshops and retreats related to spirituality, writing, women’s gatherings, (including women’s initiation and rites of passage), and creating venues where men and women experience an opening of the heart and a change in their way of being in the world. She is also founder of Red Bird Foundation, and serves as adjunct faculty at Oblate School of Theology and Seton Cove Spirituality Center, in Texas.