There is no darkness but ignorance, and more than anything else, it is words, words, words, which hold off the Dark. Shadow, blaze, and reflection are the progenitors of color, brightness, and opacity; but it is words which transmute those things into ideas of color or brightness, ideas we can share, ideas we can roll around inside our heads.
On the Autumnal Equinox, the veil between the Worlds is thin. There is a place that is always Dark, and it is not far away.
And you might think to fear it.
For the Dark will approach, and the Dark will wax mighty, and that is just and fair. After all, does not the Light, sometimes, grow so bright we can barely stand it?
It’s understandable that the Dark would come for us.
But we’ll hold it off—you and I. Together. With words.
For now. And that’s enough.
- Waxing Full
Some would have you think that human belief shapes spirits, gods, and forces larger than Mankind. And sometimes this is true.
But the spirit world is not dark because humans fear darkness, or because darkness is difficult for human vision to penetrate. It’s not dark because that is what is dramatic.
It is dark because it is dark; simple as that. There is no-one to light it, because it is a place without words. It is a place of feelings, yes, a place of desires; it is, as with so many things that share kinship with the Void, both hungry and lonely.
Yes, it wants to consume us. Yes, it wants to envelop us. Come now; do we not want to string up lamps everywhere, to see any time we want, to sort the world out in ways that are pleasing and acceptable to us, to name everything, define it, categorize it, understand it?
The spirit world is not our opposite. If it were our opposite, it would be free of cares and ambitions, free of hope or sadness. It would be free of the ever-pursuing strangeness of consciousness, of being. It would be free, in other words, of itself. And it would have no need for us or our world; and so, it would be free of us.
It’s not free of us. It is like us.
That’s why it is ever so dangerous.
Only, of course, it can’t be too like us.
Because it only comes for us once a year. Whereas we spend every day of every year—even that day, even that night—trying to push the Darkness away, to conquer it, to make it ours, to control it, to slice it into bits that are meaningful for us.
It only comes to pierce the Veil at midnight on the Equinox. And only this Equinox. Why doesn’t it come for Winter? I don’t know.
Now, you might be thinking: The Light! The Light combats the Dark! The Light will save us!
I have tidings which are not joyful: the Light doesn’t give a damn.
The Dark is an active thing, a force; I’ve heard it called a Power. It is inhabited by the Spirit world, or Spirits inhabit it, or—I honestly don’t know. I know a few things, but I couldn’t tell you whether that which enters our plane on the first day of Fall is is, for example, in some way made of the countless sentients who have dead, or if it is simply a home to them. Spirits are not things of flesh; like liquid, they fit their containers. So I simply can’t say if the Spirit Realm is the place where spirits live, or if it is a living embodiment of all spirits.
It doesn’t really matter.
That place wants what we want: to make the rest of the Universe like it. So Dark is coming for us all.
And Light? Light’s just a by-product of energy. Light’s not actually anything magical whatsoever. Sorry. The spirit realm can snuff out a Sun or a candle or a flashlight, because those are all just physical things, and nothing physical gets in the way of Magic for long. Magic has its own weird rules and its own limitations. Like, in this case, it only gets one opportunity a year to consume us.
But once could be enough. Because that time is extremely, inordinately, incredibly nigh. It’s a yearly immanentization of the Eschaton.
Darkness, darkness, go away,
Come again some other day
Mankind won’t last forever, eh?
One day we’ll fall. And you’ll hold sway.
Our brains blaze briefly, burning, lit
Leave us these our thoughts, our hearts, our wit.
And we, in turn, to Fall’s promise, commit:
To darker days! And dying a little bit.
Those aren’t the only possible words, but they’ll do.
And that’s all. We’re done here. Because Darkness is—
—easily foiled. It must be. That’s the point, isn’t it? We’re still around; therefore the Darkness has never eaten us. So every year, whatever we do must be enough. Can’t be that hard, if we do it all the time, aye?
* * *
Unless sometimes, the Darkness stays. Unless we don’t drive it off entirely. Unless a little piece of it lodges within us, resides in us, is a part of us. Always.
Unless we, all of us, carry around a little touch of Death. Unless we are all always Ending, just a little, every day. Which means:
We are as limitless as Death, as infinite, as far-reaching, as strange and unknown and full of peculiar Magic. We are as brilliant as Life, brief, bursting. explosive, unpredictable beings, animated and wondrous, carving beautiful things out of the limitations of skin and bone just as a sonnet constricts language to enact a fierce beauty on its words.
There is no darkness but ignorance; give us words, words, words to push shape onto the Void.
An Autumnal blessing:
May you die as often as you need to, and may every death be worthwhile.
(Sometimes I’ll give thoughts on a story down here at the bottom. I usually put in a little bio. I’m still sitting with this story a bit. Here are some links to some things. The first two are mine. The second belongs to everyone.
Our Villainous convention, “Evil Expo”, is here.
The answers to all questions in the world are all right here.)