It has been in my nature for a while now to reference the dark vs light quite a bit. I suppose I use it literally, biblically, figuratively, metaphorically, metaphysically…you know, all of the above. I just really like that whole light/dark vibe…I see where it is applicable in so many situations, but if this past year has taught me anything, it’s taught me things ain’t quite so black and white, so maybe everything isn’t dark and light.
It was right around this time last year that somebody told me I was being overly simplistic in my declaration of what (or was it a who?) was dark (oh yes it was a who) and who was light. Looking back I can see she wasn’t wrong.
In January of 2005 I had what I truly believe was a “white” light experience. It was an instant where the universe shifted and I became aware everything was different from how it had been only a second earlier. It was when a muffled voice in the distance became audible, when a blurred vision came into focus. It was a definitive moment in time, one that I came to believe separated the dark period of my life from what now would be my time in the light.
How overly simplistic indeed. How willing I had been to write off my previous years as all having been lived in the dark, but that was not the case at all.
Cue Leonard Cohen …I can hear his baritone voice singing “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”.
In the darkest parts of my childhood, abandonment and abuse, was there not the saving Grace safety of my Grandmother’s home? The unconditional love from those I shared it with? Light.
Throughout my school years when I was lost, shuffled around, unable to find my feet in an academic world, were there not those moments highlighting my potential and intelligence? Light.
For all the places I didn’t fit in, did I not find friendships that would span the decades? Light.
Where I see the failings and short comings of a young wife and mother, can I not also see the strength and resilience of a young woman who faced challenges and made tough choices in the name of fierce love and protection? Light.
In my darkest of times, days that blended into nights, and as the hours passed gave way to day once again, a twisted period of pain and confusion driven by the most primal of survival instincts, yet still every bedtime I would pause and safely tuck my children in while singing “you are my sunshine” <<<right there, that was a crack in which the light got in.
The light was always infiltrating the darkness, just as the dark still seeps into the brightly lit, warm life I live now. There is balance in everything I suppose.
The darkness of betrayal winds it’s way through the brightest of times. The fears that live in the dark cast shadows against the light. And at times the darkness comes from deep within, but all that it touches is not ruined forever.
No, not ruined. Changed yes, but different is not the same as destroyed.
In my naivety I believed if I was willing to draw that line, leave those years, those sacrificial memories, there in the darkness, that somehow my todays would all remain untouched. They have not. Should I erase the line? Redraw it to include more years in the scrap pile?
What of my children’s lives growing up? Small arms around my neck, kisses on my cheek, “I love you Mommy” whispered in my ear. Times I saw their eyes wide with wonder. Would I banish those memories that bring so much joy due to the smudges of darkness left by the pain caused from our time with a devil?
What of the lover I placed on a pedestal? Would I say goodbye to the laughter, the love, the hundred ways my life is more fulfilled because their darkness ruined my image of perfection? Perfection? Theirs, mine, ours together…an illusion.
Through it all there is a coexistence. A blending of the dark and light.
And now here we are, the “holiday season”…I walk through these days with an eerie remembrance of its counterpart day from previous years. Some more prominent than others in my mind’s eye. Some darker, some blissfully light, and I allow them all their opportunity to exist in my memories, as I continue to grow comfortable walking in this space somewhere in between the dark and the light where real life happens.