I’ve been dreaming again of darkness. Not the nights of it I sat awake, walking houses while others slept, the number of them uncounted. Not the darkness of sleep, the way it shades with promise. Not too that of retina behind lids on days I don’t want to get out of bed, the other half still empty, him still gone. Not that sliver of it before sunrise, that fickle and fading kind of darkness.

No. I’ve been dreaming of other, deeper darkness. The endless kind. But it no longer scares me as much as it used to. Not since that April. Not since those long, silent months when there were days it seemed less dark than the thing inside me. Less dark than me when that fragile tether of mine snapped, less dark than me, once again unmoored, less dark than me, when I break in some important way. It is the closest I ever come to letting it win, closer still than when my husband died.

I could spend all my time eradicating this darkness, shoring up the edges of me with sunlight or stars, eliminating the things and the people who give me more. And I do my best to do just this. But maybe what I’ve learned this last year too is that there’ll always be a thread of it running through me, like those few strands of silver making their way through my hair.

I’ve been dreaming again of the darkness. That endless kind. Yet it no longer scares me so much anymore, not as much as not being loved with that thread of darkness in me, not as much as not being loved whole. If it stitches through me, obsidian, endless, and unyielding, it has nevertheless taught me how to have more compassion, how more easily to forgive. How to hurt without becoming hard.

And so I’ve been dreaming again of the darkness.

It no longer scares me so.

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