St John of the Cross found inspiration for some vivid physically-charged poetry regarding the "uninteresting wilderness" of contemplative prayer.
Here is Kavanaugh and Rodriguez's translation of The Living Flame of Love written by St John:
O living flame of love
that tenderly wounds my soul
in its deepest center! Since
now you are not oppressive,
now consummate! if it be your will:
tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!
O sweet cautery,
O delightful wound!
O gentle hand! O delicate touch
that tastes of eternal life!
and pays every debt!
in killing you changed death to life.
O lamps of fire
in whose splendors
the deep caverns of feeling,
once obscure and blind,
now give forth, so rarely, so exquisitely,
both warmth and light to their Beloved.
How gently and lovingly
you wake in my heart,
where in secret you dwell alone;
and in your sweet breathing,
filled with good and glory,
how tenderly you swell my heart with love.
Photos one and three: courtesy of Google Images
Photo two: courtesy of http://www.mttaylor.com/