The Light In The Dark

8 comments
A Winter Journal

When I was unwell and unworldly, my life was teeming with those who took advantage of my good nature until there was no good nature left. I turned off the tap and all the wordless people went to drink elsewhere. Even though I knew this would happen, I was still so surprised. Few remained who reached out with no motive, unprompted, and so I made a vow on my retreat back into literature to only match the energy of another.

All our lives, we turn to books, for solace, connection, and for reasons to live, as one must do in times like this, and I discovered, ‘The Light In The Dark – A Winter’s Tale’, by Horacio Clare. This book was a rescue branch away from the cracking ice of what I once thought was solid ground. It truly was a light in the dark. A scattering of neutrons gleaming over the snow. Even though we are now fast approaching spring, I am still bound by a long bitter winter, watching only for light, and waiting for the thaw.

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8 comments on “The Light In The Dark”

  1. Books can save your life. After my mum died I found, when I went through her books, lots of bits of paper on which she had copied out passages which spoke directly to her own experience. Knowing what I know now about her history of depression, I can see that she found echoes of her own feelings – feelings which she could not articulate herself. Sometimes it’s enough that a book doesn’t have all the answers, but that it expresses something we recognise, that it somehow reaches out to us.

  2. You are right, there is a profound and very private intimacy within words and what they might mean to us, and within the stories of others and how we might relate. I’m sorry about your mum. At least she had those to navigate her path and at least you were given the insight. Sometimes when we are outside of ourselves, or when others have passed on, we get closer to the truth somehow. Books are like that I think, we are both outside looking in but also immersed, involved, and this perspective makes us braver somehow

  3. I love how some books become lifesavers to cling to/ to return to: always familiar and always fresh. Good work!

  4. Thank you 🙏. You’re absolutely right. It’s amazing how we can read the same piece of work over and over and yet always still draw something new, something we haven’t seen or considered before ❤️

  5. One of my more literate clients always asks what I’m reading…more often than not I have to say, “Oh, such and such…” – he always looks astonished and says, “you always say that book!” 🙂

    I recently finished McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (for what must be the fifth time) – I’ve made so many notes in it over the years that it is barely legible in places! Ha!

  6. Ah, you’ve intrigued me enough to try McCarthy again….I’ve been somewhat reluctant since, ‘The Road’ – total bummer. I love it that a book has remained in your heart for so long and that it’s moved you enough to write notes. I am guilty of misplacing favourite works, and then buying more until I discover I have at least five copies 🤣

    A work such as, ‘Blood Meridian’, would no doubt need several visits with different perspectives and at different stages of life to truly appreciate the complexity. Thanks for inspiring with the suggestion – I’m excited again now! 😊❤️

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