When most people find out what type of writing I do, they tend to be a little shocked. I write stories that look more at the darker side of things. Serial killers led by religious convictions, demon-possessed clergy, and human eating forests are just a small sampling of what I produce. Where as to meet me you’d find a charming, quick to smile, and loyal family man (and currently with long hair). Some people are shocked, some smile as they slowly step away, while others bluntly ask, “Why?”
So let me explain.
I believe it’s impossible to appreciate the good things in life without having an understanding, knowledge or even respect for the bad. They’re a direct contrast of each other. The birth of a child is a joyous occasions. The loss of a loved one is grievous. Independent of each other, both hold emotional value, good or bad. If the two were to happen in a person’s life relatively close together, the situations become poignant. The newborn’s first gasp of air in a world that still has yet to unfold, versus the end of a life that regardless of age, feels like it was cut too short.
Shadows are everywhere. I don’t care how much light you think you can shine, the shadows are there whether you see them or not. I’m convinced that the brighter the light, the darker the shadow. Sure there would be fewer shadows, but the ones that remained would be black and ominous. This is where personal convictions and zealotry lead to genocide and holocaust. In an attempt to bathe the world in “light”, the darkest parts of our spirit are displayed to the world.
So why not look at it the other way around? By exploring the darkness of society, I might make the dim light available seem bright. Maybe make the things we fear more bearable. I don’t think I’m far off base with this. As children, studies have shown that nightmares often times help deal with fears in their life. Then we grow out of it; the nightmares stop or at least become infrequent. So how do we cope as we grow old?
For me, it’s in the prose. I face my inner demons on the written page. And on that playing field, those demons are no match. I’m not trying to eradicate the dark. It’s not possible. I’m going for a better understanding, and with that knowledge I plan on making the other aspects of my life enriched. I know I live a charmed life. How else did I end up with so many wonderful people in my life? I also peek in the shadows to see how bright and blinding my love truly is for them.
So let me ask you. What’s hiding in your shadows? How do you cope with them?