Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's Dark in the Dark

“Sing then the core of dark and absolute oblivion where the soul at last is lost in utter peace.” - D. H. Lawrence


I love writing evocative details, becoming the conductor who orchestrates words into prose which haunt the senses. So let’s try a writing exercise and take on the dark. With your permission, I’ll take you into the murky recesses of darkness, where there is substance, a mystery that threatens to overwhelm. Don’t let me haunt you…

The silence is infinite. The wind pulses against the windows in a blind attempt for purchase, scrabbling for a foothold among cracks and crevices. A peek through the wood blinds reveals tree limbs bent in throes against the howl and moan of the wind’s torment. A luxury compared to what awaits in the dark. My hand drops and lets the blinds fall back into place and the room becomes a haven for shadows steeped in slate gray, an evolving dark.

Sleep isn’t a welcome reprieve on any given night since the quiet stole in and took up permanent residence. I twine nervous fingers through my hair and begin the illustrative name game – smooth, black, long, straight…

My eyes narrow in frustration, pinching my forehead in anger. “I’m an adult,” comes out in harsh protest. “I’m not afraid of the dark – I’m not!” No, surely this obscured deadened sense of sight and hearing can’t hurt me. What if I closed my eyes and cowered beneath the blankets, like a child afraid of the boogey man in the closet, frightened – sleep deprived until morning releases me. My mind reneges and the shadows grow thick, consuming. Close your eyes, I dare myself. Close them tight and welcome tomorrow. What of the night? Should these hours escape so easily? Hours which mark a life in increments?

The fight still lingers against heavy eye-lids and two orbs straining to part the dark like the Red Sea. Fingers drape around the cat, like tendrils of a vine. There. Thump, thump, lub-zsa-dup slow and steady – a heartbeat. Let go. The night swarms in like hoards of black gnats. Don’t drown me out; give me something solid to sing the night to sleep in this never ending dark. I slip down into a sensory deprived chamber, my reality, my nightly ritual as the cloak of black residual sleep overcomes me.

Lub, dub, lub, dub…my ears pulse like the wind against a window pane; bereft of the cracks in my soul, hallowed by the sound lub, dub, lub, dub, of a heart beat. In this coffin of sleep, comes the sound of life.

Each of us has our own version of the dark and those things that go bump in the night. This is mine. We write about the things closest to us, our fears, and emotions which become a living breathing pheromone eked out on the page in front of us. For me the dark is a very real embodiment hovering ever closer as dusk falls. What breathes down your neck in the dark? Feel free to email (located on my profile page) your version or take a stab at this writing exercise on your own blog. I’d love to see your rendering of what the dark heralds.

Picture from here


  1. I'm going to my blog to write about a dark night in my life.

  2. Good exercise. I've never been a fan of dark ... some people are night owls but I've always liked early mornings the best, when light is dawning and everything seems possible. Maybe that's the best thing about the dark ... you know that a new day is just around the corner!

  3. The dark is often a comfort to me, a place where all the things stuck in my mind during the light flow and channel themselves. Well done!

  4. and that which dares to draw it's breath to speak volumes to my ears
    In caressing strokes against my flesh in vain attempts
    It lies there
    Without hope
    To ever pull fear from my pumping veins

  5. The dark provides the quiet and calm that I cannot retrieve from the daytime.

  6. After moving to the country, where it truly gets dark, I have found a new appreciation for it. We all get that harried feeling at times, where fear creeps in, but most of the time, I love the thickness of the country night.

  7. I am going to give it a try. I have my own perspective on darkness and dealing with what it holds for me has needed an excuse for me to talk about it.

  8. hi!1thanx for the comment on my blog..Yes..the horror tower is something special !!)))i come back later and read your I must seee a movie on televisin..alot of hugs from Norway

  9. I like very much the quote by D. H. Lawrence and your reflections. Darkness often has a negative connotation but here a positive one. Darkness provides me an opportunity to think about the possibilities, the untried corners, the niches of light.

  10. I hope I'll have time soon to blog about this. Beautiful idea. Thank you! (hugs)

  11. Indigo, I have been afraid of the dark. It ceased in college, the details of which are spiritual and I will share them if you ask. But it just struck me as you described your darkness, how much more frightening it would be without sound! Growing up in an abusive home, my hearing became quite accute. I had to know where the perpetrators were and when then were coming. It was my only defense. And so I understand how that the fear is compounded for you.


  12. i love dark.... you spin quite the tale, dear lady. i'll let you know when mine's done.

  13. I fear the dark for much different reasons now than I did as a kid.

  14. I suddenly come alive when the sunsets. Great post!

  15. I come alive in the dark. I love the silence, so I write.

    When I do sleep in the dark, it's the most peaceful of sleeps, far better than sleeping with a light on or taking a nap during the day.

  16. I love your description of dark! So amazing. =)

    Dark is good, especially for midnight snacks and just vegging out! =D

  17. This is lovely! I love your description skills--very evocative! The pic is cool too! ;)

  18. Indigo, thanks as always for a great thought-maker. Sorry to have been a little absent lately: Internet troubles and a nasty depressive phase have struck me down a bit. More pills are on the way! hooray for the pharmacavalry, man. My two cents on darkdark, minus devaluation but plus the fact that they're Canadian-denominated:

    Dark in this world is merely the lessening of light; even in moonshadows, which are absolute, movement and change take place. Little frozen pebbles shift, once in a while; little swirls of very tenuous gas pass by.

    There is a place where light falls to the ground, broken, in rays; there is a place where sound is an offence. It is a place of one less plane: to us it would appear to be impossibly, suffocatingly flat: like a mirror without the mirror, or anything to reflect.

    I call those flat black places behind the final door the corri-doors; for I think there is something more. Only the power of the attention/energy of another can help you through those places, which are where we all are going, and are why we fear the exciting dark. Only you yourself can hold your form in there: that is what your life is for.

    After that? On the other side of nothing at all? Who/We/Why knows. I know I have business there.

    Maybe we'll see one another, there in the no-place. Hold fast and breathe in light, drink air, caress and treasure all that the Universe can bring you. There is no other.

    Interestingly, your name out here (Indigo) is the dream-colour associated with the last door for me: I have seen it many times, and the last enemy of light, the anti-light that surrounds black proceedings, shines indigo around its edges for me, like an eclipse. But then, the powers that be drug the pants off me for these reasons (and a few others). Indigo light is the last and most powerful friend (except one), and is there with the last and most powerful enemy.

    Thanks, Indigo, for an inspiring post.


  19. As long as I'm in a familiar environment, the dark doesn't scare me. It would if I were lost in the dark or felt threatened, though.

    Your writing is very visceral.

  20. I crave the "absolute oblivion where the soul at last is lost in utter peace" these sleepless days and nights in the past month. I so want my raging brain to shut up. My family has been hit hard by sorrow, and injustice, and oblivion would be wonderful.

    My bedside table is a pharmacopeia of herbs supposedly helpful for sleep, but they can't compete with the raging mind. Few things are lonelier than being awake at 2 a.m. in the darkness.

    On the plus side, I've watched some good movies. And today I've read your wonderful piece and feel gratitude for the gift of language.

  21. My hubs told me about an artist's installation where you step into a completely sound proof and light proof box. He said it was one of the most memorable experiences of his life.

  22. Utterly fantastic writing. Thank you for sharing this.

    You know, darkness is so strange. We live in nearly 40 year old house. Two stories, built in a style not so popular these days in Japan. The wind literally brushes through the house ... a draft that goes over my nose when I sleep. Most nights, the night never bothers me. I'm the protector of my children; I can't be afraid.

    But sometimes when my wife takes the children to my in-laws, and I'm left alone in the house. It's so different. Suddenly, it's me who is scarred, and every noise is phantom stealing in the house to haunt me. It's amazing to me how different my perception is when I am alone in the house ...

  23. That really is beautiful. Remembering beautiful moments in the dark, every night I let my dog out before bed in Japan. I loved the night scents. The things I was too busy to notice during the day, and the peace of imagining myself, and the stars, the only ones enjoying them.

  24. Indigo, thanks for your support and the candle. You are a dear friend. I have been awake at 3 AM the last couple of nights. I read blogs to relax. All will be how it is supposed to be.

  25. I've always considered myself a fairly cheerful person. So when I started writing crime stories, I was surprised at the dark themes that came out. In fact my first accepted story was very dark.

    If I read it now I think, "Who wrote this?" But of course a little dark resides in us all. And if we allow it and don't fear it, it can give our writing depth and meaning.

  26. I was there with you. Lovely writing
    Thank you.

  27. Indigo, I feel like a shit. I never once considered how the dark might feel to you. I use my ears, of course, when my sight fades. Shit. I don't think I'd be very good at night at all if I couldn't hear. As it is I'm not. I take sleeping pills. I close my eyes. I shut it out. I don't care to spend too much time in it. I awake to light.


  28. You are indeed a great writer - I'm going to enjoy your blog

  29. This was beautiful! I love the dark, although it terrifies me... strange, isn't it? It provides the calm and peace I need, yet opens up the doors to things which make me shiver.

  30. I have visited with you for a long time now and more and more do I see you honing your wonderful talent! This was a great piece of work!
    Jeanie xx

  31. Your writing talent is a true light in the darkness. Thank you for sharing it with us.


  32. Your descriptions really brought the feelings to life. The dark can be both comforting and spooky.

    I'm not scared of the dark, but most things are scarier in the dark.

  33. Your joy IS your sorrow UNMASKED.
    Merci for your comment,but look again.

  34. Even as a young child, I was always able to separate in my mind the darkness and the monsters that lived there. What does that say about me?

    Maybe the fact that I knew that monsters could also get to me in broad daylight...

  35. I'm actually afraid of the dark - but I'm not nearly as poetic when I write about it as you.

  36. Wanna know a secret?
    I am deaf as well. Lost 70 percent of my hearing when i was five and the rest since.
    I still dream of sounds. Your words are marvelous.

  37. You truely are a gifted writer, an artist of words, that reaches out and captures a person's soul. I came across your blog by accident and your words awakened something deep inside myself that I have long forgotten.


Thank you for giving my silence a voice, my muse your words, and taking the time to discover my prose.