Light- The most prominent detail that stuck out to me was “golden hour” and the section about sunrises and sunsets. If I could drive down to the beach every day and watch the sunset, I would. The only reason I wouldn’t watch the sunrise every morning, is because I am NOT a morning person. Regardless, I love seeing both landscapes. The light and colors are so astonishing and they create a breathtaking scene that allows you to get lost in it and stop thinking about life’s worries or problems or responsibilities. It’s a natural, beautiful distraction from every day life.
Dark- This was probably the most intriguing section of the book I have read thus far. David Macauley quotes, “‘Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individuals conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.'” This statement couldn’t be more true. Each individual has their “demons” or trauma that they have experienced which they carry with them every day. Some people acknowledge the darkness, others avoid it. However, pushing the problems away, into the mental “lock box,” will most likely create bigger problems. If darkness isn’t addressed or tamed, it will resurface at times and take an emotional toll on the human being. Locking it away will only give it time to manifest and grow, becoming blacker and denser. Facing your demons will allow the darkness to gradually become lighter.
Furthermore, this reminded me of probably my favorite song by Dermot Kennedy, “Lost.” The opening lyrics are, “when everything was broken, the devil hit his second stride. But you remember what I told you? Someday I’ll need your spine to hide behind.” I thought this could relate to the darkness. After experiencing something emotionally traumatic or feeling completely alone, there is this sensation of brokenness beyond repair. And when one is at that low point, the darkness repeatedly surfaces and will knock that individual down again and again. I believe if someone fails to confront personal demons, they will never truly go away and the “devil [will definitely] hit his second stride.” All the negative emotions and feelings will come back like the horrible experience happened yesterday. As Macauley states, “confronting our own shadows-the repressed sides of our characters-then may be vital to enjoying the clarifying light of vision and day, especially because few of us are able to outrun or escape them with ease.” Based on personal experience, I can agree with this. For at least a year of my life I suppressed my darkest feelings but they continues to bother me every day. Sometime over the summer, I actually had two emotional dreams relating to my demons and I woke up crying on both occasions. This is when I decided it was time to address them so my mental health can improve over time. And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now, just taking it day by day. I’m definitely not looking for sympathy or pity, but I want to raise a little awareness about something I feel passionately about. You can’t outrun your trauma, it will catch up. It’s better to acknowledge it and slowly decompress it until the weight doesn’t feel as heavy.
Here’s the song: