Dark. / by Marcell Marias

It’s always dark now.

That’s not figurative or metaphorical.  That’s literal.

It’s dark when I wake up.  It’s dark when I travel to my temp job at a game company.  My cube is in the middle of the office; I have to stand up and walk to a window if I want to see daylight.  And there hasn’t been much of that recently.  It’s dark when I leave.

As I type this, I’m reminded that it’s winter solstice today.  Shortest day of the year.  Darkest, too.  Beginning around 4:30pm. 

Not trying to be depressing or imply anything here.  It’s just how it is in the Puget Sound in the winter.  It’s the price you pay for long beautiful summer days. 

Many say that the light shines on and reveals the truth.  But I have found that the darkness can be a mirror as well.

For if the light is certainty, the darkness is uncertainty.  And I have found that uncertainty is often minted in greater quantity.

It’s in times of darkness (this time both literal and figurative) that you find out what you really are.  Anyone can be bold and brash in the daylight.  But the sun goes down, it gets harder to see…and be seen.  What are we in these times when nobody’s looking?  Do we hold fast to our sense of honor and integrity?  Or perhaps we cheat a bit.  After all, it’s dark.  Nobody can see us. 

The darkness reminds us of what we fear.  Also not a bad thing.  We should have a healthy caution for what we cannot see, understand, or control.  But does the fear instruct you, or consume you? 

Yes, you can hide many things in the dark.  But you can never hide from yourself for long.  Eventually, the darkness forces you to look at things you’d rather not look at. 

Because there are times when we all feel small.  Alone.  Naked.  Afraid.  The question is not why… that part is inevitable.  The question is… what will you do with it?  What will you do in SPITE of it?  What will you be when all you want to do is cry, run, or vanish quietly into the earth?

This is the gift of the black, I think.  The opportunity to meet your frailties and weaknesses face-to-face… and by doing so, gaining power over them. 

It will be dark soon.  But that’s okay.