Island Blog – A Dalliance with the Dark

In spite of a strong ability to focus on the light in everything and everyone, there are times when the shadows band together, creating dark. I can see it coming, feel my arms begin to flail and my happy heart turn tearful. The inevitable is coming and I know it will pass, as everything always does, but my own core strength is no match for it. At first, I feel irritation at things I had thought were completely accepted, in a state of order like soldiers, rank and file, and under my command. Then I might react, verbally or with tuts and sighs to those irritations, my cheerful voice dulled, silenced or delivered in a minor key. Dammit, this shouldn’t be happening. I have been in control of me for so long now. I must be falling back, losing my grip on things. I search for reasons. It’s because I am weary of this, of all of it; of the endlessness of caring, the fight against a strong desire to run for the hills; Groundhog Day, over and over and over and, by the way, there is no sign of it ever being truly over; The domestic round, the isolation, the fear of Covid 19, the washing, the cleaning, the lack of excursions, meals out, coffee with friends or the chance to jump in muddy cuddles with my grandchildren. A collusion of reasons to fall into darkness.

But I don’t want to. However, at the point, ie now, that I accept such times as perfectly normal, as times other people go through just like me, that it is not my sins finding me out and the Great Judge is not jabbing a finger of blame in my direction, I can begin to relocate the light that never really left. In accepting such times as understandable, as reasonable, as justifiable, I stop beating myself up. Although the days roll on ad infinitum, it is fair to say that only Mary Poppins could sing through such interminability. An ordinary human will falter, the inner tantrum will rise from time to time because we are not fictitious characters nor are we robots. We are remarkable, indeed we are, living through this with our best attitudes and most inventive brains, but we must also allow ourselves to grow weary of the drudge, sad at the lack of ‘out there’ opportunities and picnics on the beach, fed up of the same four walls, the same encounters in doorways, the brain-numbing battles of will over the same issues over and over again. Without external encounters our thinking remains just that. Our own thinking. Sharing tales, stories, ideas, laughter and recipes in a sociable situation will always lift a flagging spirit. We miss that and sometimes, very much indeed, no matter how positively we are living through this strange time.

So I am not failing, nor falling. I am still a sunshine me. I choose not to be the Great Judge. Instead, I will settle the stooshie inside my heart with kindness and empathy, stepping as lightly as I can into yet another day.

4 thoughts on “Island Blog – A Dalliance with the Dark

  1. YOU are remarkable! You always manage to to lift MY flagging spirits with your wisdom, insights, descriptions of your part of our beautiful world, humour and hope. You are definitely a lightful person. Thanks again!

  2. Oh Judy. I woke this morning (actually like most mornings)with just such darkness welling up inside of me and waiting to be washed away by the flood of tears that I hold back for fear of drowning in them. Like you, I am weary of the effort of holding it together, struggling on for the sake of others and weary also of finding purpose to the coming day. Usually this black dog will jump off my shoulder after a couple of cups of coffee, but he is inclined to lurk somewhere around and it IS an effort to keep him tied up, but usually manageable for most of the day. I count my blessings each morning and remind myself of all the good things I can still enjoy, how I can stay read a good book, splash some paint on canvas, cook a meal , see the flowers, the sky and feel the sun etc etc etc.
    All this to say that it was such an extra blessing to read you honest words just now and to remember that although this wretched lockdown and the two words I really detest “social distancing” have robbed us of so much we are still joined to the wonderful, human race
    Once again thank you for your blog this morning and the way it encouraged me. Hope your day is a bright one and the darkness fades.
    The light shines in the darkness !!!
    Let’s all hang on in there… WILL pass.
    Love to you

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