The theme of my attempt at the A to Z blogging challenge- 26 random posts with subject matter completely dependent on my selfish mood- has not been as easy or casual as I expected. It seems that when I allow myself that much freedom, I take it and run. I’ve changed my fickle mind 6 times already on the letter D. I won’t go through the list of discarded ideas, mostly because I fear I will change my mind again, and that will set me back another hour.


D is for Darkly (or Darkness, or just plain Dark).

Darkly I wander in the darkness of these dark streets.

Many said it was just a phase- I was in my mid 20’s, wanting to only wander the dark places in my mind, of my world, and only write about the shadow moments, the thoughts I had always been taught I should be afraid of, never linger upon, run away Ryan, run.

It was around 1994-1995. I was only writing poetry then. Terse, abrupt, and brutal poetry poured out of me at an alarming pace. It wasn’t always quality work, but it was potent. I was still learning the ins and outs, the tricks of the trade, so to speak, and writing darkly about dark subjects, was powerful, and to be honest, easy. It wasn’t that I was unhappy, at least no more than anyone else around me. I laughed, I was kind (mostly). I just found pleasure in writing darkly.


(A picture from that time. A casual wink)

That sort of dark exploration felt more honest to me, and any attempt to compose something pleasing left a bad taste in my mouth, and (in my opinion) weaker words on the page. I thought I was writing important poetry, work that would matter. I felt as if I were laying down the foundation for my future writing career.

But one cannot wander in darkness forever. It wears on you, tears at your heart and soul. Eventually, it works its way out of the corners of your mind and becomes all of your mind. When it becomes everything you think, it progresses outward. I became less kind, less aware of the good things around me. I was in danger and needed to claw my way out of the darkness.

I wanted to change, but was clever enough to know that change could not be had by rushing headlong from the darkness straight into light. I do not trust dichotomies. There are rarely (if every) only two choices, there are always more options. Darkness and light are surrounded by infinite shades of gray (achromatic and beautiful). I found balance in the infinite.

Writing for me now is always an exercise in maintaining that fragile balance, exposing myself to my outer margins as well as the deep blue center. It is never about perfection or a specific destination. Writing takes all my energy, sucks all my emotion, breaks down all my carefully constructed walls. It connects me to the infinite gray, even when I crave only darkness. For these reasons, I both hate and adore it.



Tags: , , , , ,

About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

23 responses to “Darkly”

  1. Ula says :

    Beautifully written. Finding a balance is key, although I think that many people prefer to stay away from darkness, and that can be just as dangerous as too much darkness. Lovely, thought-provoking post.

    Urszula Humienik from urszulahumienik.com

  2. kimberleycooperblog says :

    I too, thought this was beautifully written. You sound as though you have a great deal of self awareness and know what works for you. And hopefully what doesn’t.

  3. amymorrisjones says :

    You’ve got some lovely lines in this post! That phrase “infinite gray” sounds like it should be the title of something–a poem, song, something.

  4. Jessica Triana says :

    I can relate to your experience of a dark phase where I wrote prolific poetry. The subject matter was not so much dark but had a balancing and centering quality. Some of it I’ve posted on my blog. I think you might find Infinity Infinitatum quite interesting and I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about it. 🙂

  5. cleemckenzie says :

    Maintaining a fragile balance is a perfect way to express the creative act that writing is. I really did enjoy reading your D post.

  6. Damyanti Biswas says :

    Writing for me now is always an exercise in maintaining that fragile balance, exposing myself to my outer margins as well as the deep blue center. ; This is so familiar. So good to know I’m not alone.

  7. DonnaMcDine says :

    Maintaining the fragile balance is difficult and you appear to be doing it to so well. I’ve been enjoying your posts and thanks for sharing the photo!

    • fenster says :

      Hooray! I’m glad you like the posts. That fragile balance can be tricky from time to time. Sometimes, you have to just pretend your on point, and hope for the best.

  8. Michelle Wallace says :

    The spontaneity that emerges in free writing mode helps with the discovery and honing of your writing voice…
    Keep on doing what you’re doing. It’s working for you.
    Writer In Transit

  9. jmh says :

    Wow, powerful post. I’m glad writing doesn’t affect me that strongly, since I write horror. Things could get…disturbing.

    That said, I’m writing a cozy this year. Perhaps I need a break from the darkness too.

    • fenster says :

      Ha! Perhaps you have a better connection with your dark part than I did. I’ve come to terms with the little bugger over time, but it sure did want to mess with me at one point.

  10. Liesbet says :

    The nineties were my dark ages as well, not mentally, but fashionably or not. It was the new wave age and to fit in with my friends, also liking alternative music, I wore black clothes and combat shoes. So cool! My husband is still laughing at this teenage version of me. 🙂

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Line | Residuals - April 14, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: