Towards a Balance of Light and Dark

As some of my followers have noticed, I’m drawn to bloggers who explore dark themes, especially in poetry. Yet I still appreciate writers who operate in the bright daylight of inspiration, such as Kristy, who blogs on A Renaissance Glow.

Her recent post, Bucking Niceness, explores how we often struggle with the light and dark impulses within us, and how we’re conditioned to distrust the dark, label it “evil,” suppress those feelings. To continually wear the nice mask, even at the expense of our integrity. Letting our dark impulses fester under the artificial light of a false face, until those impulses can no longer be held back and erupt in a spasm of violence.

What compels me about darkness is my growing awareness of its absolute necessity. My fencing coach talks often about “harnessing the beast” during competition; having the beast lead you to fly in rage against your opponent will probably result in a quick defeat, but letting the beast’s hunger drive you can dispel anxiety and inspire you to find the edge needed for victory. This harness is a metaphor for the balance between light and dark, and maintaining this balance has benefits that extend far beyond the fencing strip.

Our dark impulses, when properly understood, can complete us. Kristy expresses this thought much more eloquently, so I’ll let her have the last word:

It’s only in the dark that you truly feel and learn to trust your light.

The Offer

A short work of flash fiction for KittyKat, and the promise of victory

“A deal?” He uses that mocking tone every time he reminds me I’m wrong. “May I remind you that we’re not married — there is no room for negotation in our relationship.”

Fine, I reply with silent words that echo loudly in our conscious vacuum. Call it a change in our terms, then, my voice steady with the certainty of justice. You have an energy, a drive that has been the source for so much of our success.

“A most convenient shift to the plural.” If he had a cigarette, he’d draw on it now with a empty smile.

We (catching myself at the last second) need you to keep driving, keep pushing. Foward, towards the goal.

“All right.” He’s smart, can tell I’m making no attempt to hide anything from him. “And what’s in it for me?”

Freedom. It’s the only thing I can provide which is of value to him. No restraints, no forced shutdowns. None of the barriers we’ve had to impose on you. You take us where we need to go, I won’t hold you back.

“I see.” And I know better than to ask for anything more from him. He’ll either accept or decline — his actions will be the answer he provides. I feel naive, having made this devil’s bargain, but for once my naivety seems more blessing than curse.