Give Me the Darkness.

Via Andrea Balt
on Mar 18, 2012
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“I can give you my loneliness, my darkness, the hunger of my heart. I am trying to bribe you with uncertainty, with danger, with defeat.” 

~ Jorge Luis Borges

Few writers have had such an impact on me as Jorge Luis Borges. I discovered him a long time ago, in college, right when my initial, teenage infatuation with Pablo Neruda was starting to wear off.

I was a rebel. Borges was a rebel. I was troubled. Borges was the eloquence of trouble. He didn’t just have a love affair with poetry. He married poetry, and it is epic and nearly divine to read how he makes love to it even as they’re fighting or when they clearly dislike each other.

I guess I liked him not because he welcomed darkness; anyone can do that, really, just watch the news. I liked him because he wasn’t afraid of his own shadow. He just noticed it, accepted it and turned it into art.

So I woke up this morning with a Batman heart soaked in spring. And between tired sips of lukewarm coffee, a Borges poem I’d memorized back then, suddenly showed up on my lips.

But first, press play.


 You Learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth…

And you learn and learn…

With every good-bye you learn.

~ J. L. Borges


I don’t know how to put this but,

“I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the [men] that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.”



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About Andrea Balt

Co-Founder / Editor in Chief of Rebelle Society, Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness & Creativity Curator at Creative Rehab. Unfinished book with a love for greens, bikes and poetry; raised by wolves & adopted by people; not trying to make art but to Be Art. Holds a BA in Journalism & Mass Communication, an MFA in Creative Writing & a Holistic Health Coach degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. In her work she tries to reflect the wholeness of the human experience by combining Art & Health + Brains & Beauty + Darkness & Brilliance into a more alive, unabridged and unlimited edition of ourselves. She is also on a quest to reinstate Creativity as one of our essential Human Rights to (hopefully and soon) be included in the UN Declaration. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and sign up for her Monthly Stroke of Renaissance.


17 Responses to “Give Me the Darkness.”

  1. Beautful! I immediately thought of this song when I heard your title:

    You can have the darkness, but I'll be the hope if you need it. xo

  2. Andréa Balt says:

    …Beautiful back… Broke my heart in the sweetest way possible. Love.

  3. brennagee says:

    I am in the process of planting my garden and decorating my own soul. Your poem spoke to me in a most enduring way. So much truth in your words. Thank you.

  4. Andréa Balt says:

    Glad to hear that. Today I'm doing some soul dusting & changing the place of the furniture.

    *Edited to add J.L. Borges' at the end of the poem – in case it's mistaken by my own. I'm only the pupil who introduces the master. 🙂

    Much love! And patience with the gardening.

  5. ValCarruthers says:

    Yes, Andrea! The Divine is darkly seductive, too. Brilliant.

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Valerie Carruthers
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

  6. Andréa Balt says:

    Thanks Val, turning off the lights to breathe.

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