If you have ever lain alone at night, you will know what the darkness is for. If ever you have seen that deepest blackness, the sort that folds you in its soft embrace; I can say, beyond doubt, you will know. The darkness will have spoken to you some way. And the things that the darkness is for, will be different for everyone.
Your darkness may be for thinking, for fretting, perhaps, about the things you could not control… All the might-have-beens. Or it may be a velvet cloak of filthy self-analysis, criticisms of all the you that still feels uncontrolled. Your darkness may be for reliving old guilt, for chastising yourself in regret; or it may be for living in freedom and joy, with quiet conscience and the lessons of before… The purpose of the darkness, depends only upon the sway of your soul.
Perhaps your darkness is all for feeling - if you are not the analytical type. For the blind acceptance of the here. The now. And the you that is, and ever shall be. Perhaps, my friend, you are just like me, and that is what your darkness is for.
You see, I lie alone in the dark on purpose. I always have done. Ever since. It allows me moments of quiet, to remember, to taste my past and understand an inevitable future, that in a matter of time, I know, will come. It allows me to know myself, to admit my wants. The things I have desired and can take now, beyond the bounds of my egocentricity. I keep myself, a myriad of treasures in my chest; and it is the darkness that lets me open the lid.
In the embered blackness, I can take from the box, all of my selfish trinkets. Count, one by one, all the reasons that I lie alone. And I lay each one, before my minds eye, like the stones and seashells, that she placed, in rows on our garden wall.
First, I can lay down her loaded words, the ones she gave to me, in a note intended as parting. All the things she asked me to be and to do in fine handwriting that didn’t quite say ‘goodbye’. Then I can lay down the bright, round buttons, of her favourite blue coat, and recall, how they matched her eyes.
I can run my fingers, smoothly over a lock of her hair, the one I cut, in the last hour, and tied carefully with a ribbon. Then, I can take her scent, from the chest of my memory, and stroke it the way I did her skin, in the final days, before it was dry, or thin, or pale...like paper…and when it almost still smelled of her.
And I can think of the apple tree I planted above her, uninterrupted thoughts; as I take the most precious item from my box. The shrivelled heart she told me didn’t love me anymore, lies still now, and she could nearly be right. But my own heart still throbs when I hold its coldness…its desiccation, up close to my skin. It will never be over for me.
What she could not give, I took. To have…and to hold. Lest I die of its absence.
Her or me. Acceptance.
That, is what the darkness is for.
I sign and date it, and add this ode to my box, when I re-pack my cherished charms. When they come, I don’t want them to judge me. I want them all to know that I knew them, and all their darkness too. That we are the same, but for the sway of our souls.
I slide the box, with care, back beneath my bed…and in the velvet blackness, again, I lie alone.