I considered going dark: that is to say, getting the heck off the internet, or at least not posting anything so no one could see that I was on the internet. But instead, I’ve gone dark: in the sense of my hero, Gahan Wilson. The world is a scary place. In my human interactions, I strive to remain a beacon of beauty and love. But art…
In the wake of this cataclysmic election, I found myself added to a number of secret Facebook groups; if you have ever been involved in any sort of progressive activism, you probably know what I mean. People trying to support each other through a crushing blow, people preparing to mobilize for an assault on civil rights, people just trying to understand the world. In one of these groups, someone mentioned that the next 4 years is going to see the production of a lot of powerful art. Art is always more powerful when it’s motivated by something beyond beauty and love, although most people prefer not to confront that type of work until it’s absolutely necessary. Myself included. I try to stay light.
But there is darkness in the world. I know so many people right now suffocating under the pressure of the unknown. I know too many queer and trans people terrified about what their status will be in the near future, whether their gender markers will be honored, whether their marriages will still be legal. I’ve heard too many stories of children being bullied in schools, told that they’re not really Americans because they’re the wrong color, taunted about being deported. I know too many women frantic about the possibility of losing their reproductive rights, and who knows what other rights. And I know too many heterosexual white men who feel helpless at atrocities being committed in their names, against the people they love, in defense of values they can’t support.
So, for all my friends, I say: don’t hold that darkness in. It only consumes you from the inside. Don’t be afraid to be afraid. Don’t hide. Put it all in the light: fear, anger, sorrow. Whatever you have eating you, it doesn’t have to fester. You might think that it’s unfair to release your darkness in the world, to burden others with what scares you most, but what you find, when you do, is that you’re not alone, and that what vanquishes darkness is light.
Suicide jokes: appropriately inappropriate.
It’s been a rough day. So what?