A writer's life is a journey through the shadows of obscurity; an existence that transports the mind and the body beyond the edges of darkness. It is particularly provocative among those writers who are chosen by the occupation; chosen by the imposition of the right-side of the brain whose audacity overrides a parent's vicarious high jacking of their child's life; the exchange of the dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers, teachers, preachers or professional sports figures for a life that is often misunderstood.
Within the dark and misconstrued landscapes where a writer finds a home, all is not evil or miserable. Darkness is necessary. There are questions only darkness can answer. Ideas, like seeds germinate in the dark and will burn if exposed to light before its time. Eventually, the light is allowed its contribution to the fruit of the labor. Sometimes the dark is simply asking for light, asking the holder of the quill, laced in colorful ink, to illuminate a thought, a moment or a life; to be the medium by which the world finds what is lost and discovers its balance within the chaos. It is a proudly worn burden.
I am not afraid of physical darkness; but a visitation of spiritual or emotional darkness creates paralysis within me. I am powerless to its timing and blind to the outcome. Its immobility is most disheartening when I am without the means to exorcise it from those I love.
The emotionally dim rollercoaster that has been my life has made me passionately practical. It seems impractical to join others in their misery. Yet human sensibilities, disguised as empathy, rarely resist the offer to dive right into the pool of another person's anguish. In those moments I question my usefulness. I would gladly take on the pain and anguish of everyone I love, rather than hold their hand in the dark or be relegated to the perimeter of their lives as a witness, conspirator or accomplice to their sorrow; I would wear their despair as a coat of arms for the sake of their happiness.
Writers by and large are martyrs; the self-less advocates of peace and prosperity, often times at the expense of their own. We are a vehicle by which civilization pushes past its anxieties and fulfills the promise of its purpose. We are vexed by our own humanity, yet we are willing to assume the weight of the world for the world's sake.
In the Company of Misery
When the pain of darkness approaches
accompanied by despair's nightfall;
surrender to a writer, a troubled soul un-appalled.
With quill and ink
your troubles become their concern
then channeled to secret crevices
delicate parchment on which your sorrows burn.
Wearing your trouble as weathered fleece
carrying your worry as a cross
whether heartbreak or heartache;
and speak peace
so no soul is ever lost.
© 2011 Camille Gray. All rights reserved.