Dark: A Memoir

“When the lights begin to change.

I sometime feel a little strange
A little anxious when it’s dark

Fear of the Dark. Fear of the Dark.”  ~Iron Maiden



The emotional reaction to darkness has been captured rhetorically in various cultures; not to mention that darkness has been a muse for artists across the world. Both light and dark are complementary, they complete the cycle of the universe and bind it into the realms of day and night. However, of the contiguous relationship that light and dark share, Darkness has lived in infamy through the ages. It has been the bad brother of the two.

Where light has been synonymous with peace, health and prosperity, religious texts have often referred to darkness as deceptive. It has been continually used to depict depression, the presence of shadows and the presence of evil.

Shakespeare, in one of his famous works, created a character called Satan-“the prince of darkness”, and gave darkness, jaws with which to devour love.

Dark for us is intimidating and forlorn. It fills us with apprehension, for its powers are beyond our comprehension. And the legends have fueled our fears .It is the nature of humankind to fear what they don’t understand.

Our fears overwhelm us.

Actually, we don’t want to know what lies therein. We fear what we might see. We don’t want the truth.

It eases the pressure on our faculties, stops us from rationalizing. We have made peace with it. Unknowingly we have developed a liking for qualifications.

Qualifications of the mundane life we lead, the pedagogy that forces us to think alike, the media that deludes us.

We are unappreciative, slow and low on emotions.



The Epiphany

But tonight is different.

I sit here at the banks of Ganges. Her gentle waves caressing me, my body is being molded again. The holy water purges me and the aura of night makes me numb. Shivers run up my spine as the freezing water slowly encroaches up the shore.

Each wave brings with itself a cannonade of thoughts, which impeach the contours of my mind and soul. My lungs, dilapidated from the swamp of polluted gases, are resurrected by the breeze.

The air is somnolent; it finds me through the trees, below the rocks where I am lying, enchanted by the majestic splendors of nature. As the air resonates in my lungs I feel a thousand emotions at once. The sand appears a part of me, from which I have integrated and into which I shall disintegrate.

The sand embraces you with such ease, as if a bed on which we all have to rest at last.
As if it’s waiting.

The tides are surging to hug me and with my body disappearing in water, slowly, buoyancy is taking over gravity.

As the moonlight begins to wash the banks in the star lit sky I see sporadic patterns, shaped by my thoughts. Across this colossal canvas are spread my dreams and my reflections.

The beauty of night is inexplicable. It is simple, uninteresting, featureless yet seductive and enticing. It calls upon you to tread every dark corner and bring light to it.

Dark is absolute, light is scattered.

I realize dark is innate. Our dreams and thoughts, they all grow from the dark till we fill them with the colors from our aspirations. The space, the places we haven’t treaded; the zero and the infinity- they are all dark.

What if light is an illusion that humors us within the realms of this dark sanctuary.
What if dark is the absolute truth?

Creativity like human life itself begins in the dark.

Dark is -homogeneous, spotless and simple.

We are born dark inside; all of us. But we bring light to these dark dungeons within. Darkness is there for us to exploit, to learn.

We don’t have to shy away from embracing the dark; we have to accept nature completely. Only then shall we win over our inordinate fears.

Enchanted by the night, I submit.

Himanshu Lohani

Image Source [http://th3rdculture.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/dark-forest-35836-240944.jpg]