Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” In suppressing the writer in me all these years out of fear, I now realize I suppressed the very blood that one needs to truly live. I dedicate my renewed commitment to my writing to the deepest soul connection I’ve ever had, the one who always inspired me to write, and the one who inspires these very words.

For you, Michael, I bleed. Through my words, I bleed.

I want to talk about demons. Not the imaginary ones that haunt us from the creative imaginations of writers and filmmakers. I want to talk about the ones that taunt us in real life with their seductive embrace. They whisper in our ears sweet poetry on how they are the only one who understands our true nature, the only one who hears our cries of pain, the only one who could comprehend all the anguish that makes us scream quietly and alone. 

Eventually, after enough courting, that demon takes up permanent residence within our darkness... that sacred place that is meant to hold a dark enough space to show us the dazzling mysteries that belong only to each of us. At some point, we surrender our fight to have balance, preferring the comforting embrace of our demons, rocking us into a deep slumber, in this space that used to be a place of learning, now, becomes a place of yearning... to be numb, to be free.

Just as the dark is both seductive and addictive, so, too, is the light. We are conditioned into believing that we can only be dark or light, follow only a dark or light path. This is when the unbearable suffering begins, the attachments, because we are being baited to pick sides. And by picking sides, we never fully actualize our full truths. We are both dark and light. There can’t be dreams without the nightmares. The light and dark has to coexist within ourselves because they are a part of one, they are equally a part of our soul. To deny one is to deny the other.

It is through our individual experiences, not ceremony or commandments, that teach us who we are. Love and loss, they are companions, and just as there is a lighter side to everything, there is also the side that dwells lovingly and patiently in the dark. I reject the notion to always look for the silver lining, because the shadows have enlightened lessons that seek you, too. If we let the light convince us that our shadow side is unworthy, we will suffer. If we let the dark convince us there is no light, we, too, will suffer. 

And by comprehending our own dark space, we can begin to understand the darkness that consumes everyday people, and learn to hold space for them to battle their demons without persecution… and try as we might, we can't save them. Because, at the end of the day, only you can save yourself from the suffering that invited the demon to make decisions on your behalf. How many rounds could you go until you finally give up your fight?  

It is only in embracing that we are sovereign spirits on our very own individual journeys that we can even attempt to find a balance between our dark and our light, and not to be swallowed up whole by the beautiful lie that lies on each side. To save ourselves.

So many are blinded by the light, unable to truly hold compassion without judgement. And then, there are those who lose their way in the dark, unable to find their way back to their brilliant, beautiful self. People have questioned or dismissed my draw to horror-themes as a cute hobby, but they fail to realize it’s the space where I can fight my demons, my monsters, and perhaps that’s what I am attempting to do now in writing this, desperately seeking the strength to reject the desire to just surrender to my demons, to be swept away by its lulling embrace. So, instead, I bleed.

It’s not for any of us to even begin to understand the lessons each of us signed up for, that is for each of us to learn and know alone. But what I do understand is how it feels to retreat into the dark night of my soul, to lie in bed with my demons, and be gently coaxed by the shadowy whispers of promises that will never see the light.

What I also understand is that... just as there must be life, there must also be death… and somewhere in that most painful of lessons, we learn that the price of grief is love. And when certain souls are connected beyond time and space, that grief of losing them turns into a bloodletting, and we bleed out love from every crevice, every nook, every cranny. The kind of grief that rips open a heart so long ago sealed and barred shut, deemed unworthy to bleed. In attempting to stay ahead of my darkness by placing up walls of false-light around my heart and soul, my darkness had me believing all love came with conditions… and that the only way to protect my heart was to never allow it to feel the vulnerability of love, including the love of self.

And now that you are gone, I can’t stop my heart from deeply bleeding love… and I wish I could’ve swallowed just some of your shadows, and replace it with the love you so freely gave. I never knew unconditional love until the day you came into my life. I never had a place to call home until I found it in your heart. I never felt like I belonged in this world until our worlds joined into one magnificent universe. I was so full of darkness, my demons working overtime to sway me to surrender myself. And you… you surrendered some of your light and fought those demons alongside me because we understood each other’s darkness, we shared the same demons. It was us against the world, legends in our own minds. 

I’ll keep bleeding indefinitely... as I now can’t seem to stop this heart of mine from feeling everything… all the love and all the pain, all the dark and all the light... from your departure from this world. In life, you were such a guiding light for me, and somewhere along the way, I chose my darkness over you, and that has been my biggest regret, haunting me to this day. In my irrational way of rationalizing, as long as you were somewhere in this physical world, I could still feel you, your strength, your light, and I could fight one more demon for one more day. I’m so sorry I could not hold the space you needed to battle your demons. Is it selfish of me to now hope and pray that you will return to me in spirit and continue to be a beacon of light? 

In the dance between darkness and light, your death has caused my heart to bleed again with love and with loss. I keep trying to numb the pain by seeking the embrace of my all too familiar demons, but I can’t stop the bleeding as it pours lovingly and painfully at the same time, to shed light into my darkest corners, blinding me with your brilliance. Your life mattered. Your death matters.

This is what David Jones meant when he wrote, “It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.”

Keep bleeding.