Creative Darkness

"All creation emerges from darkness."

-- Michael Meade

We seem to have a natural aversion to darkness. When the days grow shorter so many people become depressed that there is now a medical name for it -- Seasonal Affective Disorder. When we face similar dark periods in our personal lives and relationships, we either push the darkness away, run towards the light, or attempt to ignore it. And our culture's attitude towards death, what many consider the ultimate darkness, is perhaps best epitomized by Dylan Thomas' poetic injunction "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

And yet, nearly every scientific theory and religious mythology has the Universe beginning in darkness. More great literature, music, and art have been inspired by periods of darkness than by all the happy times put together. And where would country music be without alcoholism, divorce, prison, and heartbreak -- all major manifestations of darkness?

So, instead of pushing away the darkness, bemoaning it, or slapping on a smiley face and pretending it doesn't exist, what if we embraced it, snuggled into it, explored its every nook and cranny? What might we find? What might we create? What might we redeem?

There's no way of knowing without going there personally. Second hand reports of darkness, while entertaining, can never replace first hand experience in terms of sparking creativity. Because that's what creativity is -- a spark in the dark. It's not even a small flame at first, much less a conflagration. It's a tiny spark in a large dark expanse, a spark so small that if you're not paying attention you miss it altogether.

But the tiny spark is where it all begins. Enflamed by idea, intuition and passion, it is the mini-spark that grows to burn away both the darkness and its causative factors. Each new creation brings a bit more light into the world. It does not permanently destroy the darkness, but it does give the world one more of those thousand points of light.

If you avoid the darkness, no new sparks are created. You can run toward the light, but you won't be adding to it. You will at best be one of those people who just seem a bit too happy to be real, who fill their lives with light that others have created in hopes of avoiding their own darkness.

Don't do that. Share your light with everyone. Enter the collective darkness, enter your personal darkness, emerge with a new spark and watch all our eyes shine!

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