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reflections

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Darkness and Silence

For most of my life, I’ve thought about darkness. Yet, for a few months now, I haven’t. I’ve been wondering why.

While daydreaming instead of studying for a law school midterm in the spring of 2013, I wrote the following words. I suppose in some ways it was a climactic time. It was the first time I realized I could not pursue law as a career. The time when I knew there had to be a different way forward but felt like I was lost in the fog. The time when the many contradictions of the past were about to come to a head and only sensing that such a collision might be inevitable. It was perhaps the most uncertain I had ever been.

darkness.png

I wonder if I was generalizing through those words or actually confessing. It seems once the trauma of a religious upbringing subsides, questions linger about the extent of unlearning that must take place before life can go on. For me one key area of questions stems from the Catholic exclamation that everyone is a sinner. From there I had built a whole universal framework to explain right and wrong, good and evil. As a starting point, if sinning is evil and everyone is a sinner, then everyone is evil. Was I evil? That question preoccupied most of my childhood into my adolescence.

After the pilgrimage to Arizona when I lost the church and a monotheistic god but found the spirits of the universe, that question no longer remains prominent. However, another remains. What had I lost when I stopped thinking about it? When I spent my days thinking about darkness, perhaps even living in its fog, there were words that came from no discernible place, at least no place I can point to. For years, I could hear words rhythmically ordering themselves without my assistance in my head usually when I had to internally and silently cope with external obstacles. There was no music, just words. Poems perhaps although with no formal training in literature I dare not qualify them as such. They were words about family, friendship, loss, love, and happiness. Heart stuff if you will. I would write them down, edit them for clarity, and save them for a time in my life when I’d appreciate them more.

I haven’t heard such words for months, maybe even a few years. I wonder now if the words came and went with the darkness. Without being weighed down by catholic guilt and benefiting tremendously from books recommended by genuinely good people, the darkness seems to have dissipated. Or, I wonder if the years took the words away. Whether the words were childhood musings about dreams and hopes and ways to cope with a world that kept spinning outside of my control but time calmed the storm. Or, maybe I just ran out of words.

Regardless of whether I miss the words, what I don’t miss is the darkness. Without it, at least without its constant preoccupation of my time, life seems to operate in color. In a world seen in color, the spirits seem friendly. If the words from five years ago were intended as a self-reflection, then maybe my life has indeed bore witness to the event. Even without me hearing about it in my head.

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