Going into Darkness

Darkness takes away the surfaces of things. It takes away appearances and leaves behind the mystery. Those who manipulate appearances are left bereft in the night. With the surfaces gone, with the appearances gone, all that is left is the truth. We like the appearances and the illusion because they are easy to grasp. They are complete in four dimensions (length, width, height and time).

But the truth that lies behind surfaces is vast and unknowable. It occupies more dimensions than we can count. It is only in darkness we can begin to imagine some part of its nature. In a cave the darkness is so thick it seems solid, yet it is unresisting as we wave our arms and it swallows our voices like sand in a desert swallows water. It swallows rock and water — even our bodies. We are left to contemplate the infinite nothing out of which our bodies and the rocks and water take their substance.

Wrapped in the velvet cloak of darkness, I feel liberated. In the dark there are no classmates to sneer at my shyness, no employers to lambaste me, and no parents expecting me to fulfill their disappointed dreams. There are no expectations in the night.

Growing up I was tossed around from one family to another. Each situation had its own set of rules and expectations. These rules were never clearly set out and never matched exactly one family to another. With every breath I drew in daylight or well-lit rooms I was in danger of breaking a rule and drawing wrath down upon myself.

And I learned to love the night. In the darkness there were no prying eyes to betray me. I was safe in the darkness because I was less exposed. There was no need to keep constantly alert for possible pitfalls and vengeful adults. I could relax and let the true me be. I could cry without someone offering to give me something to cry about. I wrote my first poems for the darkness. I wrote them in the night.

In the darkness I could feel the rich, warm love of spirit. I tapped into the ancient wisdom and infinite creativity that moves in all things. I breathed the sweet breath of ecstasy that cannot be felt beneath the sun.

Daylight fed my fears, but the night, and the gentle spirits that came to comfort me then, carried them all away. I could believe I had a noble destiny, whatever I was told in daylight. 

I felt the universe caressing the edges of my consciousness though I thought it was the wind tossing my hair, and howling my loneliness through the night. I thought it was the rain crying cleansing tears when I felt hollow inside. And I thought it was the stars bending low to hear my whispered dreams when no one else could be trusted with the secret.

Through the fabric of the night, Spirit pressed close and wrapped velvet arms about me. When I wailed my yearning to the stars, spirit whispered softly though the darkness, “Love is all around you, child. It cannot fail.” And I relaxed into that soft embrace to sleep.

Messages of hope and wisdom were being constantly channeled to me in the dark.

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