If I threw a rock down the gullet of this deep, lonely blog, would it hit at the bottom? Would it splash into some river run-off of old melancholy or all has that all dried up? Lodge itself into the thick damp remnants of fear. Or would that flung rock just hit the dry, cracked bottom with a lame, dull thump? Skitter across the fault lines to become a part of dead riverbed history?
Perhaps it wouldn’t hit anything at all. Maybe it would just fall and fall because aren’t we bottomless, really? That rock–a piece of us, some tiny thought, some wake up call–thrown from the edge of us, pings against our canyon walls, crumbling away the old crags, bumping into new outcroppings of life.
We are not pits, but deep, ancient canyons. So deep, if there is an end, it looks like nothing we’ve seen before. Imagine those strange lantern-headed fish or the tiny, million-legged fluorescent swimmers in the miles-deep ocean. Those creatures of another world, telling a story all their own, independent of the light and loudness at the top.
Our stories come in layers. Some are loud, hard, full of high-waved storms and messy survival. Deeper, deeper, over time, new layers are built–the ones maybe darker, maybe calmer, maybe more savage or more quaint. They can be all of these things–they are all of these things.
Some do not build vessels to go so far inward. Some aren’t equipped, while some refuse the depths of self. The darker the place, the more pressure against our skin, the less we will venture there. Yet if we do…our soft selves change. We become the light we need to see down there. We struggle for breath until our lungs adjust. We learn to tell the stories, the hard ones. The deaths, the anger, the denial, the shame, the selfishness–they are all just strangely floating creatures in a giant sea of us. These things are there to show us what it looks like to thrive in the darkest places, to see how we adapt and appreciate the difficulty of living.
Go find the stories and lessons with sharp teeth. You must not tread tiredly above your own darkness. Go deep and find the life that glows there.