A crack of light comes through my bedroom door at 5:30 in the morning, so I roll over in my blankets, thinking of Leonard Cohen’s rumbling voice singing, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
I stumble out of bed, pushing the door closed.
I don’t want to let the light in (and not just because it’s so early in the morning).
I am the sunshiny type, always looking for the hope on the edge of darkness, so I rarely let myself go to those uncomfortable spaces. As I closed the bedroom door, I knew a new guide had arrived, the darkness.
After all these years of trying to be light-hearted, I am ready for an adventure to those shadowy places.
Darkness is soft, not necessarily sad, but contemplative.
My trip is a solo sly job done under the quietness of night when everyone slips deep into their dreams. I’ll stay awake, searching for the things that I’ve hidden: my wounds that are stitched closed with words, sentences, ideals, hopes, expectations and sadness.
These are the wounds that I’ve covered with the lightness of a silk sheet, and a shrug of my shoulders, saying, “It’s all good.”
Yet it has been only okay for years, so I gloss over the wounds with lightness during the day, sharing a smile until I can take a walk into my inner forest at night where my heartbeat quickens, my senses become alert. I am alone, wandering with confidence through places that would scare wilderness experts.
I need the darkness as my guide.
Without the buoyancy of light as a shield, I feel in a way that connects my spirit with my body. I am forced to see things without clarity, an ambiguity that encourages me to trust my intuition as I open to my wounds.
In the darkness, I’ve realized that ignoring my uncomfortable spaces has kept me from being my authentic self; and, yes, the laceration is almost invisible because I’ve covered it for so long. It is hidden by so many scars that I cannot remember the source of the infliction.
I find that my wound is really a collection of wounds that holds the ever echoing words that I am not good enough—that being an artist/writer isn’t a respectable profession—nor should I even try to be something so brilliant, and wild.
I will no longer pretend to be who I am not.
So I declare that I am an artist who is learning to say, f*ck it to those battles of pretending to be polished and perfect; and simply be myself, enjoy the bliss and the struggles that come with being a creative person.
I see this feeling ripple through my generation, as we unravel from the ropes and the masks of work for work’s sake, and stand in the mixture of the lightness and darkness of authenticity.
We’re learning that our emotions—our wounds—are not meant to be buried.
We need to embrace them.
As I sit in the darkness—not wanting or needing a crack of light for guidance—I don’t mind the uncertainty, for once.
I am creating my journey with my own intuition, knowing it will feel right when it’s time to open the doorway to where I am destined to go, as I find solace in the softness of darkness.
(Always remember, if there are some emotions and wounds too hard to carry alone, please reach out to those whom you trust as well as organizations such as To Write Love On Her Arms. Never be embarrassed to ask!)
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emily Bartran