I find myself, between two volcanoes in the night. I have been sitting in this place for long, cross-legged on the earth, meticulously examining the horizon as it changes. I have watched for hours; the sun and the sky seducing one another--star-crossed lovers, so wonderfully in sync, yet ultimately destined to be ripped apart.
In an attempt to ensure his memory lives on in his absence, the sun puts on his most astonishing show. The sky espouses increasingly mesmerizing ensembles, fluidly altering its shades to ones only imaginable in dreams.
Nightfall is upon them and the numinous dance must cease to exist. The love story culminates in a resplendent apogee of colour and luminescence, before expiring into dusk. The sun has been called home, and as he perishes hesitantly into the horizon, I breathe a sigh of relief.
The sky, having now bid a proper farewell to its muse, slowly relinquishes the faint reminder of the fleeting romance; their goodnight kiss evidenced only by the ever-fading rubescent glow upon the navy backdrop. The blue skeptically darkens, allowing the moon to assert her presence. As the night deepens, millions of glimmering celestial bodies make their luminous entrance.
Tonight, I feel grateful upon the day’s demise. Truth be told, that is why I am here. I have been anxiously awaiting darkness to fall upon me; for the night’s shadows to reveal themselves. I am wistful for a feeling I’ve never known. I would be alone here, were it not for the petrichor; the afternoon rainstorm’s business card—my only immediate sensory companion.
I sit in darkness— A space which once profoundly frightened me. A place which I had been taught to escape.
Daytime is far superior, society seemed to believe. The sun revered; its rising symbolic of birth, and its setting, of death. This is no coincidence. But what of the moon? What of her, and all of her stars? That question rarely got asked.
The daylight is better, they continued to say. Like broken record players, each and every one. Or like parakeets, perhaps, repeating that which they had heard, without the faintest notion as to whether it rang true.
In a similar manner, inner lightness is deemed desirable. And, gloom? Simply iniquitous. “Happiness” celebrated but turmoil rejected. A struggle, a discrepancy, cognitive dissonance between the true emotional landscape of many and that which is considered acceptable. An invitation to hurry away from anything dark.
I sit in darkness, A space that, for long, had beckoned feelings of despair. A state which I avoided with all my might. Sometimes actively. Sometimes unknowingly. One from which I ran physically and metaphorically for years.
I sit in darkness, A deep unsettling stirring within me, a memory of my conditioning to reject its presence. Hesitant and unsure, Contemplating whether to go in search of light.
I sit in darkness, But I no longer feel compelled to escape. For the first time in many months, I feel at peace. It is a different kind of peace; one which feels to me, entirely new. It is peace though. I am certain of it. How is it then, that it feels so foreign? Perhaps, all the peace I've ever known had only been temporarily borrowed from the promise of impending light.
I sit in darkness, Paradoxically sad and, ultimately elated. And it is the first time that I submerge myself willingly and unresistingly into the feeling. I give myself permission to feel and be with that inner dark scape, which I have never truly let myself explore.
I sit in darkness, I feel it. I allow it. I admire it. I am surprisingly exhilarated by its presence.
I sit in darkness, And then-- there are fireflies, A phenomenon reserved to the shadows.Those same shadows that I am meant to fear, loathe. But there are fireflies there. In that somber place of uncertainty. There are fireflies, and that darkness, For the first time, feels like home. Exactly where I want to be.
The fireflies. Their glow, it parallels the electricity present within my own being. The one that I sometimes authorize myself to feel. The one which, once awakened, is nearly impossible to contain. The one which courses through my veins, and paralyzes my limbs, and makes me feel that my legs might collapse under my weight, or that I might just implode, turning to nothing but dust.
Dust, that which composes the stars above me. Those which glimmer most fiercely in the totality of the shade of raven’s feather. Perhaps, a pattern is emerging. Perhaps, we are one and the same.
I sit in darkness, but now I delve deep. I omit my preconceived notions of its vituperative nature. I do not run from it. I do not judge it or fear it or try to change it. I do not expect anything of it. I do not wish it to be light. I do not wish it to be anything other than it is. I accept it as an incontestable part of duality. I embrace it as the tragically beautiful backdrop to this moment in my life. And to many others like it.
I sit in darkness, The stirring within me ever present. It has not subsided but now, I no longer resist. I concede. I try to think but my querulous mind has escaped me. Sweet victory. A serendipitous occurrence in the most unexpected space.
I sit in darkness, But I am no longer afraid. By accepting it, it has ceased to cast its shadows upon my soul.
I sit in darkness, The one which I have now allowed myself to feel. To accept. To love.
I sit in darkness, For there, and only there, do the fireflies dwell.
Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua, November 2016.