Dark Observations

There are no miracles. Sometimes, harsh realities scrape away the soft cosmetic maquillage of one’s life, revealing irreparable damage to sinews, feeble muscles, and brittle bones. Beneath artificial calm at the surface, turbid undercurrents claw at what’s left of an emotionally-drained skeleton, leaving a weakening, fragile structure incapable of withstanding the weight of heartache. The pressure of facing a dispassionate, unyielding universe bent on reducing everything to atoms is too much. The universe never loses the inevitable battle. Miracles do not emerge from the carnage.

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Time spent alone, essentially in solitary confinement, shackled to an imaginary master, can steal confidence, hope, and love. That time of abandonment replaces value and meaning and desire and joy with emptiness and rancor. Rage and distrust grows like mushrooms fueled by heat and moisture. Emptiness, once it takes hold, does not yield. Nothing can fill that hermetically sealed void, protected against intrusion by hardened steel walls.

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Darkness can fill a brightly-lit room. It can drench a desert without a single drop of rain. It can make the sun as dim as a new moon behind a shroud of thick black smoke. Darkness is suffocation and drowning and strangulation combined into a murderous cloud; it consumes air, converting oxygen to sarin gas.

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Hopelessness can feel like bullets piercing tenderness. Maybe they are not bullets. Instead, they could be pieces of shrapnel erupting from a suddenly shattered heart; the universe, turned into a transport vehicle for an explosive emotion designed to do maximum damage.

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The tether that binds us to each other and to life itself is gossamer thin. It sometimes seems to be made of steel; other times, it is as fragile as a single cotton fiber, severed just as easily by force as by fire.

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About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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