Assigning Words: Darkness

Assigning Words: Darkness July 19, 2011

I have written about this before, but a few thoughts to begin today: 

I have this thing with words.  They sometimes lodge themselves in my brain and won’t leave until I write them down.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m all-consumed by the ideas the words represent; it just means there are some thoughts floating around, asking to be expressed.  

For example, I was distracted this morning with the image of darkness, or sadness, leaning in over the stretchy cords of a boxing ring, pushing its way into spaces where it is not welcome.  The image seemed to me to need words.


Words have wings. When you hang words around a thought, the words can alight with the idea and take it back to where it belongs in the larger picture of life.  And assigning words to a mental image can give it credibility and form, make it something you can see and touch, something you can more easily get your mind around.  Most of all, hanging words on an idea puts the idea out there in public for everyone else to see…and that helps with the task of remembering that some thoughts that seem big and scary all alone are, in fact, actually shared by many others.

So…here are some words for the darkness.

I hate
the insidious way the darkness
elbows its way up to the very front and
leans in, over the edges.
I hate
looking up to recognize
goodness, love, relationship, possibility all around
…all deeply shadowed by the leaning darkness.
I hate
cheering voices fading, slipping away,
while the darkness yells louder and louder
all his nasty, ruinous lies.
I hate
recognizing  the darkness and
thinking, even for one weak moment,
that darkness is all there is.
I want
the darkness to recede.  Melt into the background,
so I can laugh dismissively when I see the shadows
and welcome the light as it puddles around me. 

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