The Long Dark

As we pass through the Winter Solstice, I think of pivots.

I wake in the dark, work in the dark, go to bed in the dark. This day is the darkest of the dark days of winter.

We’re not meant to spend too much time without light. Energy drains the longer the night stretches, the more we hear of that queer electrical hum that hits when the dark is thickest.

It’s easy, in tales and in light, to dwell endlessly in darkness. There’s beauty and mystery there as well as frustration and exhaustion. For those who wish to sit there endlessly, it is easy to point to the anemic half-light that hits for a few minutes somewhere between dawn and dusk.

“See,” they say. “There’s some light here. But what really matters is the darkness.”

I love the dark.

I also love the way it turns to day.

Eternal darkness does an injustice to the balance of the world.

It is an incomplete snapshot, a story half-told and less truthful than a full lie.

Because the darkness does turn.

Because today marks the waning of its strength.

Because slowly we move towards the first pale fingers of warmth breaking through the mountains.

The darkness is beautiful.

So is the slow, inexorable movement towards spring.

IMG_0549Darkness is a movement, not a static state

As always, I am interested in transition points and movement. Darkness is a significant part of the movement in my own life.

For my own take on darkness and not-darkness, feel free to check out my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It  is available here.


A Long Dance in Darkness

I hear a rhythm as the seasons pass.

Here, it is a slow waltz transitioning into something wilder, freer.

But always underneath, there is the pulsing heartbeat of growth and death.

They partner together, one step forward, two steps back.

Life may seem to come in an explosion of song and greenery.

But careful dancers, cautious dancers will see the steps laid out ahead of time.

Cues of motion and direction written in the smell of soil, in the slight angle of light

I trace their pathway with my pen, my words a poor marker of the grace, of the subtle shifts in balance that surround me.

A perfect heel change-

One partner springs to life, while the other falls back, fading into the ground below.

I, audience and participant, mark my applause with my words.


IMG_0043The new partners emerge, the old recede

If you would like to watch me dance in longer form, I have also written a fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.


For This Moment, Balance

The year is a lever, precariously balanced above the equinoxes.

I did not think of equal day and night when I lived elsewhere.

Those daylight hours matter so much less when they stay so much the same.

In the north, the shift is dramatic.

But there is a deceptive slowing around the equinoxes, a false sense that the hours are remaining the same.

Then everything is either dark.

Or light.

If the story is mild, the pivot points can shift in many directions with little change to the story.

Shift the pivots of stories with stark extremes, hard conflicts, and the seasons within unravel.

Shift the light and darkness and the land goes from harsh to uninhabitable.

I try to choose those pivots with care.

Because there is nothing like the moment when I wake, blinking, in light rather than darkness.

IMG_0466The passing of a pivot