The Dichotomy Darkness


Lidia Berhanu, Staff Writer

We are told that darkness is something we need to turn our faces away from. Yes, wallowing is futile. But darkness is not. 

There is a dynamic in sadness that (in my eyes) is split into two aspects — excessive projection into one’s energy and environment of sad music, darkness, and lack of communication; then also we have acceptance of these sections of life filled with something that does not satisfy, like intense fear and anxiety, doubt and greed. I would vouch that the main way people seek for acknowledgement towards their sadness is through music. The profound energy it is, we don’t necessarily know why our bodies and cells feel it so much or any scientific aspects to it for that matter, it’s simply just there, what we feel. I know so many beautiful, raw sad songs. And many of them I wouldn’t even describe as sad. If you asked me when I play them, I would say to you anytime. However if I was to play them all the time, morning to night, excessively & repeatedly, you would of course expect a change in mindset and expression. Our bodies are indeed, whatever we intake. 

Another question to propose is this: if our egos disintegrated, would sadness still exist? Is it simply a feeling that arises and can go away if we had complete control (which we do not) over our bodies? What neurons fire when we feel blue? What do the insides of our bodies look like when we feel melancholic? We could romanticize sadness and suffering, as done throughout history so often in the art world of sculpture and paintings, as well as certain eras. And these ideologies have not left us, the glorification of mental illnesses, depression and merely being ‘sad’ has been taken a liking to by many, many individuals in my generation and beyond. It’s not exceedingly clear why exactly it is this way. Perhaps it’s simply intriguing to some? Something to make a meme and/or video about and possibly obtain their 15 seconds of fame on whatever platform. The notion of being different than others, which in fact is contradictory given we all experience ranges of emotions. 

Which brings us to the idea of being “saved”. This desire, subconscious or conscious, can be derived from so many foundations and roots in early life, significant events, or anything really.  Nonetheless, moving forward, how can one embrace their sadness without falling so very deeply into it? The answer is simple and straightforward. You cannot. 

You cannot tiptoe around sadness. You either suppress or you do not. 

Forms of art that cater to any of our human senses can aid to our confrontation with this sadness, or any emotion really. It can paint us new perspectives. Music, sculpture, literature, film, poetry, painting, language, etc. There are infinite vessels that can find their way to someone and shift them suddenly. It’s honestly one of the wonders of life, how quickly things can shift in our brains, what we feel. 

To wallow, bask, acknowledge, and embrace. This can be a process rather than a box to be shut into. We need to be taught this, that it’s okay to feel. Whatever that may be.