Each of us has at least one compelling story about our relationship with The Dark. For some, The Dark has been a literal entity-- i.e. a dark place, or night itself, in which something life changing or memorable happened. For others The Dark has been a metaphorical presence-- an addiction, a mental illness, poverty, a loss, heart break, an impossibly unkind world. The Dark has met each and every one of us, and often times it favors one person more than another.
Like Death, The Dark is usually unwelcome, as are the gifts it brings. These gifts are not wrapped in pretty bows-- it is hard to recognize them as gifts at all. But gifts, they are. The Dark is a generous force to contend with--it comes bearing these gifts each and every visit. Even though I know this, I am usually unprepared. I am the one who is empty handed. I have nothing to give in return to The Dark. But I do not take my gifts from The Dark for granted.
The bravest people I have ever met have been those who are visited unrelentingly by The Dark, and still wake up each morning. These people have stockpiles of gifts from The Dark --in their homes, their backpacks, their purses, their pockets. They are so overloaded with these gifts there is no more room to put them anywhere. They unwrap these gifts, learn from them, and pass them along, rewrapped in the beautiful ribbons and paper they deserve. They also help others who are visited by The Dark-- They hold others hands, shine a light, say words of comfort. They help each other navigate the unruly world where The Dark lives, and offer maps for escape and evacuation. They are the expert witnesses to The Dark, they know its secrets ...and I’m going to share some of those secrets with you.
When The Dark comes to visit…
Bonnie Thomas, LCSW
Indigo North Counseling