Sometimes the Darkness Helps

We build our temples up to the sky hoping it will save us but we don’t know why or what from until it’s too late to do anything about in any case.

As I wind my way along Main Street, my boots crunch against the snowy sidewalk and my eyes follow the structures of the mansions on either side of the narrowing road. A lot of money buys a lot of pretty real estate. What’s that saying? He who dies with the most toys? Still dies.

One of the biggest places has a bunch of flags flying from their many ornate balconies. Some shit about patriotism and conspiracy theory somehow making so such sense to them they have to fly banners and announce to the world that they mean to come fuck it all up.

So much privilege. So much angst.

Wealth is a kind of blindness. A way to see and not see. A selection, a distraction. I have met people like this. Eyes and smiles all glazed over with the palpable fear and panic which courses through their jittery veins.

I take the last drag of my cigarette and toss it into a snow bank where it glows, then burns out in a flash of frozen winter air.

Somewhere across this town and on the border of the next, a guy with a lot of problems stands on the edge of a bridge which over looks a wide rushing river, churning its icy currents down toward a massive waterfall. He stares into the whirling darkness of its bottomless depths and wonders if he will ever be free.

If freedom is a thing you have to take for yourself in the best way you know how even if it isn’t in this life. Maybe there is a next. Maybe to leap is to fly and to fly is to escape. Second chances. Second looks. Second guesses.

As a plow truck shoves dirty snow into a pile against the corner where the coffee shop hums with fragrant activity, I watch the blinking traffic lights and stare off into the distance in the direction of the white church steeple high up in the hills, covered in bare black trees and worn out gray winter snow.

So many heroes, so many saviors, so many false gods.

The atmosphere, for the rich and the poor, the young and old and somewhere lost in between, is heavy.


Photo by Mitchell Hollander

20 Replies to “Sometimes the Darkness Helps”

  1. A somber yet sadly very accurate portrayal what life is nowadays. I’ve been meditating on this for almost an hour now. I’m finding it hard to quantify the feels and thoughts. Type/delete. Type/delete. Anxiety levels rise with each moment as I fail to understand why we embrace such a way of being. Fortunately you quantified it perfectly. It makes me sad that you are so damn right though – for I wish for a better world. Sigh.
    It does help. The darkness. Sometimes it really does.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for spending time with my words, in my little world. I am so grateful this stuff resonates with you. ❤️ It’s a messy life we all lead. I feel there is something cathartic and sacred in a way in looking at the ugly up close. Breathing in the same rhythm as what hurts. Perhaps that is weird or perhaps it is just the natural human reaction when you just want someplace to go and be honest. To not have to pretty everything up, that shit’s exhausting, haha. xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Somewhere across this town and on the border of the next, a guy with a lot of problems stands on the edge of a bridge which over looks a wide rushing river, churning its icy currents down toward a massive waterfall. He stares into the whirling darkness of its bottomless depths and wonders if he will ever be free.”

    Absolutely loved this part! Really, it’s so great 👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that: there is something cathartic and sacred in looking at the ugly up close. Particularly in a world that makes it so easy to not see the ugliness of humanity. I attended a convention last week for teachers in which a great poet, Clifton Smith, described how important it is in our classrooms to present the whole truth, rather than the half truths we have come to depend on, like the author of the Declaration of Independence arguing that Africans lacked the capacity to function fully in a democratic society and should, well, be sent back to Africa after being emancipated and educated. I feel as if the first few decades of my life were defined by half truths, and the rest of my life has been a struggle to fill in the blanks. … Thank God I love a good mystery. And that sometimes cold, sometimes deliciously cathartic feeling that comes from uncovering a whole truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is something sacred, isn’t there? I am so pleased you see this, too. And I thank you for sharing your experience with me, god I miss academia, just the thought of words and books and knowledge makes me salivate. It’s just as you said, it is a delicious feeling to uncover a truth, to expand, to open and open and open endlessly. Haha, but I am greedy that way, always more. You are right that we have been raised upon half truths at best, downright gruesome lies, nasty trickery, and brutality at worst. It is enough to break you into bits, or if you are lucky…. gift you poetry.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That, dearest Allison, is the kind of greed I can live happily with. I love your description–how the thought of words and books and knowledge makes you salivate. Pavlov would be proud of us. But now I have to ask: what has your connection with academia been? A learner–an insightful, insatiable learner–i have no doubt, although I suspect you learned much more on your own than you did in classrooms. Were you a teacher?


        1. Haha, our dear Pavlov! He would delight in us no doubt. How on earth do you seem to know me this well, dear George. You are so right in what you say. I was an insatiable thing in university, I was a voracious reader, writer, thinker. You have me right back to where I was as an eighteen year old girl just vibrating with need for intellectual challenge. I couldn’t even pick a major so I threw a bunch of things together, English Lit, Abnormal Psych, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Spanish. I was all over the place, I wanted to be everywhere. Oh dear George the things I wish I could have gone on to do… I became pregnant at eighteen, and let us just say things got …complicated. I did graduate tho, and I did my best to devour every single bit of studies I could. You are so right too, life outside the classroom was a whole other kind of education.

          Liked by 1 person

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