Reclaiming the dark

In Creating

My post today is a bigger thought on an Instagram Post that I shared a few months back about not shying away from our dark side. I think I’ve been inspired of late by some books that I’ve been reading, Tarot cards I’ve been pulling , and words that I’ve been sharing amongst friends and family. I was reading Tahnee’s post yesterday about our Inner Mentor and it sealed the deal for me. I was going to write about my Inner Dark side.

One of my favorite video games of all time is a game called Shadow of the Colossus. I’m not much of a gamer, but my husband and kids are really in to it. I SEE a lot of games . Shadow of the Colossus I played and watched because it’s just so stunning. Now the main point of this game is that the protagonist searches a beautiful land on horseback for dormant monsters- When you get close enough to where they are dwelling, they wake up and you have to fight them. This game is epic, and it’s never lost on me the dark life paralells of slaying our inner demons. But, what if, we didn’t slay our demons. What if, we invited them in for tea?

I can’t help but think the world is totally obsessed with improvement. Be good, be virtuous, be light, be lighter, be lightest! Elevate, Glow, Radiate, be your truest ( white girl bullshit) self. Ha, can you tell I’m over it? Maybe, just maybe I’m hormonally raging, almost mid life musing; but, I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s more likely this: It’s just ain’t all light and rainbows all the god damn time. It’s true. The darkness, it lurks. And as a whole, I think we are taught to slay that dark side over a cliff till it’s light and rainbows again. But here’s what I keep coming back to. We were formed in the dark. In the pitch blackness of of our mother’s womb, we grew and became the beginning of who we are. I think it’s quite alright to lean in to our shadow selves when she comes for a visit. It’s like coming home.

When my dark sister visits I find myself drawn to making dark imagery, moody portraits, and almost always processing photos in black and white. My dark self is just as creative as my lighter self, and I love honoring her process.

I think I find myself obsessed with the balance the dark adds to the light. The dark gives light it’s breath and vice versa. Dark Imagery strips the image down to it’s essence too. There’s no distraction. Much like our dark sides. We know exactly who our dark side is.

I’ve been reading book called Belonging: remembering ourselves home by Toka Pa Turner since the end of December . This is by no means an easy read, this book is like all meat and bones and marrow. There is no water to wash it down, and definitely no dessert. I am like half way through and I read this bit today : ” There is a special quality of stillness in a person who encounters their shadow wholeheartedly. Your body may relax in their company because it understands, in the subtle communications of their presence, that nothing is excluded in themselves, or you, from belonging. Such a person, who has given up guarding against the shadow, who has come to wear their scars with dignity, no longer squirms from discomfort or bristles at suffering. They no longer brace in avoidance of conflict. They carry a deep willingness to dance with the inconsistency of life. They’ve given up distancing as a strategy, and made vulnerability their ally. Because we often think of vulnerability as a negative trait, which leaves us exposed to harm, I thought we could do with a new word which acknowledges its power: vulnerabravery. Instead of putting up our defenses when we meet with conflict, vulnerabravery is the conscious choice to keep our heart open so that we might discover what is hidden within it.”

For me, sometimes I just need to dance with my devil. Allowing her to speak, to have a voice, helps me see how integral my dark is to my light. And What does she teach me? In the dark I often find something new about myself that I love.

Somewhere Betwixt and Between, Audrey

2 Comments

  1. I wish I had learned this truth sooner in life. I still do not embrace my dark side, but I recognize its worthiness. And, after years of trying to hide, comfort, avoid . . . I see the best path is through the darkness. No question I’ve created some of the most meaningful art of my life while deep in despair and the works I create in the light are brighter because of those times. Thank you for this thoughtful essay and for the open invitation to be vulnerable.

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