It feels like I went away for awhile. A long while.
I mean… I was rude. I wasn’t really myself.
I was detached.
It felt like there was a menacing piece of me who normally watches through the screen, but he took over and started toying with me, like a marionette.
I don’t know, man.
It’s almost like the light doesn’t shine sometimes and I tuck my dreams away somewhere safely because I know it’s about to happen. You know how you can feel the rain in the air before it comes?
Or you can tell when a person in the room has a broken heart?
Or when you can feel there’s a stillness in the city at 2 am while everyone’s still asleep?
It’s like that. And then it comes, a storm cloud looming over myself and everyone I hold close. And it only affects them and us. Never the fleeting passerbys or brief interactions with customers at work or anything, because it likes to hide itself well and pat itself on the back for being “so good.”
This is my dark side. I think we all have one, but I’m not really sure.
Sometimes he rears up in an empty room by candlelight, and only disappears when I blow it out. I can see the shadows of claws and teeth and foul breath, and only when I learn to embrace the dark will he sulk back into the cave he slouches in while he’s away.
It is only when I realize that the candle on my table wasn’t the true source of light that I can learn to be okay again. It is when I make my light come from an external source that I can have it taken from me, or that the shadow can come out of hiding and want to play.
When the light glows and shimmers within, it cannot be blown out by a passerby or a mere second of a day.
Bad moments, rejections and small attitudes that feel like a high rise up just to be cut down, are all exits on the highway of my day, and I am just passing through, chasing the sun down yellow lines, ignoring all the exits in the middle, although they may tempt me with self pity and regret and selfishness.
When the flame settles down, warm inside me, I can clothe it and capture it and feed it. If it settles too low, sometimes I can catch it before it settles too far into dust and stone.
Then again, every now and again comes a gust of crushing wind within me that will blow it out.
It’s just the weather, dear. It will pass.
And then I can feel my soul scramble to pull it back together, her feet pitter pattering around, trying to breathe life into the little fire that keeps us glowing and curious and content.
But sometimes she can’t.
So she will settle down and rest her head in her knees, closing her eyes, and slipping away into a darkness kind of like a sleep.
And so I, alone, and missing my dear friend, my lovely soul, will light the candle on the table in hopes of rekindling the one within. Desperate for her company again.
And the shadow may rise up, without my soul to fend him off or shoo him away.
And then it will be up to me, again, to rescue her, and kindle our little fire that keeps us going and glowing and feeling a purpose of warmth and kindness and sweetness, like fresh cinnamon buns on a Sunday morning next to the person you love most.
There is nothing that can bring me down when the flame burns within.
It is only when it burns without, or for something without, where it can sting.
But my soul needs rest and my shadow, he needs to breathe.
And so I will falter between flame and shadow, and pull myself together at the end of it all, sewn together by a greater bond with my sweetheart darling soul, a gentle presence graceful and extraordinary, just like yours.
The tears dried on my cheeks and echoes of my hollers ring true with a greater understanding of my shadow, who although is a harsh teacher, may someday become my friend.
When you understand something, you can no longer fear it. So this is the key, for me. Because when I get it all back together, I am better than I was before, because I have been learning all this time, to treat my flaws as teachers, not threats.
He is no longer casting a huge shadow. He is smaller, and tiptoes, and whispers cruelness at me – my own personal critic – but he can’t grow again, because the power for him to do that lies within me, and I won’t give it to him.
And so the cycle goes, until someday, he and I will share a cup of tea.
And my lovely dear soul will sit in my core and bathe in chocolate with rose petals.
And we will all be merry.
Some days, we already are.
I think that’s enlightenment – falling apart and coming back together stronger everytime, creating a bond with all that you are and sculpting yourself into the company you crave.
After all, you are the one with which you must spend the most time.
Best to get to know each other, wouldn’t you say?