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Humans and the dark have such a dysfunctional relationship. Robbed of sight, our most relied upon sense, nighttime and darkness makes we diurnal creatures into clumsy, helpless, hunted children. Rare few that don't suffer nocturnal anxieties. We fill in the black slate with chalk drawings of what we fear to be in a misguided effort to anticipate threats in the night. Darkness is so much more than fear, though. It is also the veil under which we seek rest and sleep, the velvet behind our eyelids when we need a moment free from worldly distraction, and the firmament into which stars are born. So too is it temptation, dark, handsome strangers and the allure of shadowy corners, where something dangerous might happen, where something dangerous you might become. In darkness we shed our superegos and wear our nightselves proudly. Shadows do not judge.
The common thread that unites these is surrender. Helplessness, desired or otherwise. The loss of control. That can be utterly terrifying, as predators we cannot defend against drag us from our beds and into the black. It can be necessary, a respite and dark cocoon into which our minds retreat when they need recuperation. It can be thrilling, a bacchanalia, the true meaning of wild abandon. All of them mean holding our hands up and admitting that we are not in control of what happens next. The only thing we can dictate is how we respond to our helplessness-- kicking and screaming, horrified that your will and ego do not dictate the world's whims, or with acceptance? And once in the black place, what will you learn?
Reading: This isn't just about the whims of fate, but in how you react to the situation at hand. Sometimes we need to fight, but sometimes we can hurt ourselves more in the thrashing. Think of it less like the moment the fool is about to step off the cliff, and more like the moment after he realizes he is falling-- to panic and brace means missing out on the lessons that come from the fall, and hitting the ground a hell of a lot harder. Fall headfirst with perfect love and perfect trust into the great unknown. Fighting it is just going to hurt.
Key Words: Surrender, helplessness, temptation, trust, control, shadow, darkness.
Down: Hanging tightly to the illusion of power, scrabbling helplessly against the inevitable.
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