What it means to walk in darkness

The word darkness means something different to different people. To a Christian it refers to being in the dark in regards to ones sin. To a scientist it means the absence of light. To a horror fan it means a particularly horrifying film.

We all know what the dark is. We all know what it means to be afraid of the dark. It is often a metaphor of fearing the unknown. I am one who tells people I talk in darkness. This can often confuse people. Let me explain.

To me it refers to a few things. For starters I am not clairvoyant so I am in the dark on what the future holds. I believe most of us would say this to be true. I don’t try to have an optimistic or pessimistic view on things. My default is wait and see. My preferred method is hope for the best but expect the worst. That way you are never disappointed no matter the out come.

I also tell people I walk in darkness because I despise the light. Of course this mostly refers to society. It means I do not conform to the societal pressures. I dismiss, often to the point of aggression, being shoved into a box imposed upon me by others. I try to define myself. Chaos is a good word. Darkness is a better one for this illustration. For me it is about going out after society has gone to bed. This gives me the chance to shun those pressures and live my life free from those shackles. I have learned to bring that darkness with me. It means I put on an invisible shudder that keeps the light out, allowing me to walk among the zombies without becoming one of them.

It also refers to my mood. Death is a natural part of life. Some use the phrase “that’s morbid” but our sense of morbid derives from our sense of mortality. You can’t escape death, might as well embrace it. This is why I favor horror movies where death is the center piece. In many respects Death itself is a character just off camera directing the rest of the cast towards their inevitable end. In so many ways surrounding myself with death allows me to process it.

During my time as a journalist I discovered we were nothing more than merchants of death. We bought and sold other people’s misery like a commodity. We invested in death. We spread it around like a plague so we could profit off of it. We dress it up as informing the community when in reality we get excited when there is “breaking news” to report. The more tragic the news, the higher the ratings you see. This is not why I left professional journalism. I will get to that someday, soon. But my intimacy with death is why I was able to handle it so well.

Death gives us a purpose. It gives life a meaning. Without it the world would be beyond chaotic, it would be an utter disaster beyond human imagination. We need death to keep us grounded. It pushes us to do better. We invest in medicine to push back death. We invent technology to protect us from the dangers around us. We advance firearms and “self defense” in the name of protecting our loved ones when really all we are doing is glorifying death and normalizing our own participation in its culture.

I walk in darkness means to me I shun the rules imposed on me. It means I do not fear change. It means I welcome death and embrace all its clarifying wisdom. I have a light that shines internally. I keep it inside me. I share it with those I trust. The rest of the world I tune out. They are in the shadows in my mind, invisible to my existence. That is what I mean when I say I walk in darkness.

Published by

Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos.