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.