this month's collab for Shadows and Light.
Playing in the Shadows
it seems as if my emotions follow the cycles of light. this time of year, with the short days and pale, thin light, i feel less sure of myself. i want candles, light, reassurance. instead, there is snow, greyness, and cold. i am more singular at night. riding the bus home in the dark, i feel solitary, despite the swarm of people around me. we’re all drawing inwards, trying to bolster ourselves to go out into the night and find the place we’re from.
even now, i am sometimes afraid of the dark. when the nightmares and insomnia creep in, i sleep with the light on. somehow, the power of that one lightbulb keeps the monsters at bay.
and there are shadows over my life, even in the bright noon sun. i worry about my mother, who is working to find herself and seems to be more distant than before. i wonder how the multiple sclerosis will play out in my dad’s life. i watch my friends and what is happening in their lives and hope that they will be fine, but i still wonder. and the trial for my assault case is coming up. the fact that such evil and hatred can exist in this world casts its own pall over me. did i do something to deserve that pain? i think, maybe i’m just not good enough, knowing that it’s not true, but still, the thought is there.
the warmth and heat of the sun is welcome balm against these chills. turning my face to the sun, leaning up against the brick wall and closing my eyes, it feels as if the tension just melts away. i think of myself as a night person (well, at least, not a morning person), but i feel most at home, most at peace when blessed with a sunny day.
sometimes, tho, there is power in the night. staying up til all hours, laughing with my best friend, sitting out in the yard, the night is a warm blanket of caring. the air feels alive and friendly, a compatriot in arms. or spilling out into the night after a show (maybe my favorite local folkie, or sweet smoky jazz), you feel alive, as if the night were created just for you. and curling up with your honey to watch a movie, all the lights out, just the two of you on the couch under a blanket - the night protects that tender moment from prying eyes.
we think of shadows and light as black and white. but it's not so simple. we cannot reduce the forces in our lives to such flatness. more than that, there is a constant interplay of greys, an ever evolving dance of emotions illuminating our lives.