When The Dark Crowds My Space
Darkness has befallen me many times.
When death knocks on the door of those closest to me, it tears a knife through me like a hot knife to butter.
Oh, I accept death just as I do life, but it is when it becomes unexpected that the darkness puts me in a place where I can't see, can't feel, and sometimes, can't breathe.
But a number of years ago, a close friend of mine, who too, has also gone from this earth, gave me advice via a song, and didn't even realize it. Oddly enough, Jack wasn't the kind of person to give advice all that much.
Jack knew I enjoyed music, all forms of music, though some I can take for just so long. Before I started teaching, I taught dance a number of years, and dance allows a free-flowing expression of who you are inside. Long before that, I sang and played in a band back in the 1970's in the tri-state area. The gigs were good, and the music always made me feel great.
But there was a time when I forgot what music could do for me. I forgot a lot of things.
To those who met me, never knew just how badly I was doing because I put on that "other" face, to hide the one I didn't want people to see.
But then along came Jack, and he said, "Bill, you need to loosen up, and not let it get to you like this. Loosen up, go dancing, take a vacation, sing; do something, man, you are a freaking wreck inside."
And for some strange reason, he reminded me of a song I heard by Josh Groban. "You Raise Me Up".
'When I'm down and oh my soul is weary, when troubles come and my heart burdened be, then I am still and wait here in the silence, until you come and sit with me. You raise me up so I can stand on mountains, you raise me up to walk on stormy seas, I am strong when I am on your shoulders, you raise me up to more than I can be.'
In a very short period of time, the darkness I allowed to engulf me, went away. I no longer kept my feelings in check, no longer did I come home and drink myself into a silly stupor, or curse the world (and God), for allowing people I loved to die, especially when it wasn't their time, or I should say they were just too young or in the prime of their life.
To be sure, parents and grandparents, that can be easily accepted, and though sadness is there, it is usually tempoary, but the unexpected sucks the wind from you.
But no longer.
I not only accept death when least expected of my friends and certain family members (cousins mostly, and two uncles still living 77 and 83). I also write about death and the many different emotions, feelings, and thoughts we have or may have.
Today, this afternoon, this evening, the only time darkness overtakes me now, is when I fall asleep.
There is too much richness around me to fail not to see.
... and if you are able to see and listen to this ... You Raise Me Up.