Art celebrates darkness in its own obscure way and perhaps this is why we need it. Great art mirrors humanity better than reason does. The entire colour palette of emotional being is accepted and used. Focusing on the desire to be happy, I wrote much about light. Yet, in this challenging year globally and internally, it’s urgent to unwrap and accept the other side of the spectrum.
The polarity was made by our culture. Therefore, here I would like to cast some light on the darkness we perceive as bad. In the West, we misunderstood because of our mental divisionism by duality. It is not just the cartesian separation of body and mind that is flawed in the view of the tricky to obtain evidence by our limiting scientific methods. It is that persistent antagonism cannot inherently find the middle ground. I learned by living in the east and reading much of the ancient wisdom from China, India, Nepal, Laos, Japan to the peaks of Tibet that acceptance, inner calm and awareness guide us from the gloomiest days out on to the bright sunshine.
” Beautiful days do not come to you. You must walk towards them.” Rumi
sun photography

Clear vision: adjusting your inner eye

It is the attitude, the point of view we adopt when looking at the world and our selves, that determine the proportion of joy or sadness we feel. The more we give up on the light, we spiral into depression. The more we lie to ourselves by ignoring the pains of reality and naively believe in a just goodness, painting all in golden curls of the great life that is not wholly that, the further we get from truth.
Proportions matter.
Manic-depressive individuals go through the peaks and deepest gorges of emotions.
The super-rich if not vigilant might be robbed of their wealth, betrayed.
The poor giving up, blaming their unhappiness on their destiny, won’t see the joys in their simple life.
darkness in photography

The Known Unknown

The law of change helps to comprehend the potential of the dark and so does art. The gloom can push us, it is an appeal. Fight! Take the weapon of your inner strength, resolved in your control. Find the villain within your mind, name it, face it and defy it. Is it anger, fear, guilt, injustice, …?
These emotions are trapping you, they strand your joy, suffocating instead of expanding your inhales with oxygenating freedom. You are larger than this. Pursue the life in love. Trust your instinct, and not necessarily what others tell you is best, because you might not open up yourself wholly to those outside whisperers.
Make music out of it, paint it (as I did bellow), write it (journaling is as good as poetry) or put effort into fixing something we selfishly ravaged like nature, it feels liberating.
Before the fire ravaged the paradise
You have a choice even in the starkest situations. These can be excruciating choices that will haunt you later, but whatever you see as the greater, more positive option in the moment shall be held in your heart as the right decision if that was taken in good faith. You cannot think and feel for others, it is their responsibility, but children are still innocent, so they always must assume the greatest weight in any decision one takes.

The Calm Beauty of Darkness

Ironically think of a bustling metropolis, where beyond a soundproof apartment and a deep basement do you find most calm? It is at a cemetery. I am drawn to these oases of silence in cities from Geneva, Paris to Tokyo. I am not afraid of death’s presence on these fields of eternal rest. Somewhat it feels relaxing. I just sit on a bench there, shaded by a tree in summer, and I exist, flowing with the moment encountering dark truth. I appreciate my being while sitting next to death, an abundance of changing reality in the form of graveyards. This nothingness embalms my soul with comfort.
contemporary photography
Also inside a chapel, church, even a cathedral, all those temples made for the spirit to cosy in and find a safe connection between one’s humble meaninglessness and the infinitely aspiring grandness above us. I must admit though that my favourite, most uplifting church in the world also contains abundant natural light. The Grundtvigs Church in Copenhagen is an astonishing work of architecture and understanding of human needs.
Visiting monasteries in the European countryside grounds me like a deep meditation.
most beautiful religious architecturemost beautiful religious architecture
Modern church interior
These are places that accepted darkness, can you see that? The shrines to dark necessities of life and death cycles perpetually ticking their divine clock on their own terms. Some healthy people are killed by a car, a plane crash, on a bicycle, while some unhealthy lifestyles still keep you springing well into your 80s.
Life is not fair. All we have is the potency of now. The present is all we have. While we know this, we hang on the tight ropes of our past, even when we thought that we had forgotten long time ago, we do not wipe out the wounds inflicted upon our heart. We cannot choose our mother, father, the place we were born in, but our suffering can empower us. One can live with scars, and I learned to love mine, for each means something. Unlike a tattoo that was chosen, I fell prey to circumstances, but I smile at the memory of how it happened. These accidents were amusing. They did not kill me, they taught me something profound about myself, my personality’s tendencies and the need to slow down and yes, do not carry a sharp knife to slice an apple at school! Today it would be even impossible! My intention was innocent though, no killing of my teachers and the students I did not like for some silly reason, most likely an irrational whim.
self intimacy

Fair Judgement

I’ve no doubts I’m a very good person. My core is light, I relish in helping others in need. Yet, I also must be honest and admit some dark feelings and ideas when the storm crushes in. As it did literally from the Barjac fields this autumn. The olive orchard swayed under the Mistral’s vicious pull, the vines humbly bent to the earth as if hiding from the wrath of the gods out there in the air. I was in a small french country hotel in the midsts of all of this ceaseless ramble. Naturally, I could not sleep.
American abstractionismAmerican abstractionism
Fiercely, It screamed for truth loudly all dark night long.
After a couple for hours of frustrated ceiling gazing I felt a sudden impulse. A good sign for a poet. So, I lit up the bedside table lamp, grasped my notebook and penned a poem. It had to be in French with no regards to grammar, just free flow, unhinged.

Mon identité blessée

Ne peux pas s’endormir

Ca tempête d’automne m’embarrassé

La nature vivant me pousse a fléchir

Sur tout que n’est pas vrai 

L’enfant chercherait de l’amour caché

Devant ou derrière des mes rêves?

The present is the inner storm only, the dreams are of the past or future, not now.


American abstractionism


Ever so many layers to peel off
Until I can ever get even closer
To my very true core – who is this
Woman in men’s clothes stuck in her past
A thinker so profound that her sleep
Disturbs her stream of creation?
I take a sharp knife to help my self
To cut the peel off — stabbed, I’m bleeding
From the forgotten wound, asking 
Why have I stored that pain away
From the light of my days? Why is it hiding
In the dustiest corners beyond
My disturbed mind’s sweeping reach?
Clean up, it’s time, the dark corners of dust
My suffering burst through my flesh into the world
I just can-not go ahead whole without
Looking back again, whether I want or not
I am good, so good a person in fact
That I must admit the rotten part of me.
~ Joy
I am attracted to darkness in music and poetry in particular. Sometimes in nature, even in certain dilapidated architecture that mysteriously lurks at my curious mind. In people it’s the mystery that’s the darkness I am drawn to, not them being mean or vile towards others who don’t deserve to be treated unfairly or painfully.
Ocean sunrise of hope beyond darkness

Here we are in winter 2023, the winter solstice just marked the shortest days in our annual calendar. We might well be at our gloomiest, most nostalgic state of being. The options are to either invite the dark in or to resist its natural pull to cave in to our deep selves. That conflict and indecisiveness causes trouble. Should we not face ourselves during the darker months of winter? Far less distractions outdoors lure us into contemplation, self-discovery. An adventure through fears we must meet, greet and defy.

“The cure for the pain is in the pain.” Rumi 

contemporary photography contemporary photography

Summer solstice was the day I got married to a good man who loves me unconditionally more than anyone else. This initially happy distraction blinded me to some of my old truths and what I was genuinely seeking in life. I was not able to appreciate his attachment. Yet, once I followed my intuition, magic happened and I slowly, gruesomely, flourished into a full bloom. It is still exhausting, painful and it aien’t over yet honey, but I am resolved to push, to savour my inner spark, that love within me I can never lose and can only give. Joseph Conrad wrote in his Heart of Darkness: “The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as in the forest had stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return. We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness.” The future depends on that journey through the dark forest. Just go.