Monday, June 4, 2018
For me, peace is a quiet word. It speaks to a deep stillness, an echoing silence, an absence of things. When I think of peace, as a concept, I think of harmony, of people getting along, of happiness and light, but when I think if personal, internal peace, I always go to a place of darkness.
I don't associate the dark with evil or sadness, it is just dark. Shadows might hide things from view, but they aren't inherently threatening. I have always been comfortable in the dark. As a child, I would seek out the darkness, the places that other kids found spooky or scary. They didn't bother me, and I was curious about them. I wanted to know what lay hidden and out of view.
For a long time, I wasn't comfortable in the light, both physically and metaphorically. Bright places made me uncomfortable. I got panicky in empty rooms with white walls. I wanted to fill the space, to mar the perfect whiteness and to make sound to break the oppressive silence. I didn't want a riot of color, I wanted black or dark hues. I didn't like to be out in the sun, I'd rather stay inside and go out at night.
It's funny, because I definitely felt that silence held a different quality in light places than it did in dark places. In the light, it felt smothering, like I was being made smaller by the silence, but in the dark, silence enveloped me like a protective cloak, it kept me safe.
I used to think I had great night vision, but I have come to realize that it just didn't bother me when I couldn't see. I've worn glasses since grade school, and my night vision really isn't that good. Everything is blurry at night, but blurry during the day stresses me out, I want to see the details, my eyes strain to bring things into focus. At night, blurry is fine, everything is soft around the edges, and I rely more on sound and touch and my innate sense of where things are.
I remember once, going out into the woods with a guy, who thought I would be the typical girl, afraid of the dark. He turned off the flashlight and asked if I was scared. I was never that girl, neither the night, the woods or the guy scared me. I was raised to be a fighter, but I was also raised to be secure in the knowledge of my Self. I knew I was okay. I told him I'd race him back to the car (and I beat him, laughing to myself as I heard him stumbling around and cursing the darkness behind me).
I have grown, to appreciate the light. I have found a different kind of peace in bright places. Sometimes, when my world is a little frazzled, I will go outside, close my eyes and turn my face to the sun. It's not dark, even with my eyes closed, the sun enters me and fills me with it's golden light, and everything in my world is this bright yellow-red, and warm, so very warm. I am filled with this warmth, and it gives me a sense of belonging, like being welcomed by a soft hug.
But I am still a child of the shadows and the darkness. I still seek out the night, and stand in her embrace, and there I find my truest peace. There I know who I am, and I don't feel lost or confused. I am strong in my Self, and everything stops and expands, and all my worries and stress fade away until there is nothing but me and the darkness surrounding me.