The dark was not so dark

“Whoever has received knowledge
and eloquence in speech from God
should not be silent or secretive
but demonstrate it willingly.
When a great good is widely heard of,
then, and only then, does it bloom,
and when that good is praised by man,
it has spread its blossoms.”
― Marie de France

DSC00521
(photograph: a section of floor tile at Sainte Chapelle/ Paris, France/ Julie Cook/ 2011)

Both the image and the author of the quote date to medieval France; the Church from the 13th century and the poet to the 12th century. We so often equate the medieval world to a “dark age” or a time of ignorance cloaked in misery, darkness and disease—but it was a time of so much more than our simple assumptions limit.

Masterful architecture as evidenced by the gothic spires built during these dark days, now spanning centuries of time only to continue reaching toward the heavens today. The lyrical music and poetry of the merry Troubadours who wandered the lands of France and Italy singing their way into the hearts of both lord and lady. St Thomas Aquinas,13th century, one of the most important Doctors of the Church, is undoubtedly one of the foremost theologians and philosophers still widely and deeply studied to this day—brilliant minds, brilliant engineering, brilliant music all seemingly cloaked in supposed ignorance, darkness, superstition and disease.

On this new day of this new week, be not deterred by naysayers who wish to relegate you to “less than” or to the impossible–great things are all around us, just waiting to be revealed–often in the most unlikely of places. Let not historian nor so called “expert” tell you anything other than “yes, it is always possible”. If you think it, there are always possibilities.

Be not secretive or silent as God continues to bestow gifts on us all—be willing to share what gifts you have been given–allow your greatness to spread and blossom. Be not deterred.

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