When Dark Descends

This evening I am enjoying the warmth and comfort of my apartment, the soft glow of the lamp on my homemade coffee table, the smell of cinnamon and orange drifting through the air from the kitchen. From my cozy corner I contemplate the presence of fear, of darkness, in the context of the surrounding materials shielding me from those horrors, and yet I have had more exposure to those elements than I would ever wish.

I watched an episode on Netflix in which the characters had to face the darkest part of themselves in order to get what they wanted. They had to come to terms with who they were. Coincidently I read a blog post right after that in which the writer suggests we run toward our greatest fears to create our best work. It is in the midst of this situation I find myself contemplating what areas of my life are shrouded in darkness. What do I fear? Who am I deep inside?

Far be it from me to expose my innermost thoughts to the internet, so if that is what you are expecting, I am afraid you will be left wanting. Still, I believe it a challenge to know for sure what our deepest insecurities are without extensive searching and reflection. We do not have a dramatic musical score to tell us when we have solved the riddle. Instead we have mere scraps of music, little bits here and there waiting for us to piece them together into our own song.

Something I fear deeply is being alone. Not physically, for that is how I am most days. It is on a more emotional level I fear I will not find companionship or love. I have no doubt many people love me dearly, but very few are able to come with me to the darkest parts of my heart. Sometimes even I do not dare descend the rickety staircase leading to that dusty basement for the possibility of getting caught in the cobwebs.

In the midst of all this, it is often the advice of many to turn to one’s spiritual health for solace. But I say this: no matter what you believe, it will not always change what you feel. Yes, we must acknowledge our feelings. Yes, we must do what is right despite those feelings, but feelings, fears, and darkness will not always dissipate no matter how hard we try to make them. When hope looks like nothing other than a distant delusion and healing a cruel con, sometimes all we can do is add more measures to our symphony in the making. We cannot yet hear the full piece, only an incomplete cadence. As much as we want to dissolve the dissonance to reach a resolution, sometimes our only antidote is to whisper to ourselves, “Maybe tomorrow.”

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