Imagine our lives without the Dark. No rest, no visible moon or stars, no germination. Religions and societies have often demonized the dark – the time of witches, people with dark skin, night filled with not-seeing and fear. Even New Age practices talk about “Going to the Light.”
Now, we head into the longest night. Winter Solstice marks the turning of the ancient year. Imagine that you enter into the alchemy of the dark. Alone. With a friend. In a warm home. Standing under an ice-black sky dazzling with stars.
Wait until the next morning to write about your celebration. Thirty minutes or more. You can begin with this: I have come from my past. I go forward. Please send us your words.
Here is a new response to our Dec. 5 prompt: What have you come here to write.
Pale green walls marred by scraped chairs, thumb tacks and an occasional fist surround the room. Posters featuring maternity exercise classes, signs of a heart attack, the benefits of immunizations and nutrition are haphazardly used for decor. A child-size table is placed in the corner with a well-worn box of crayons and coloring books scattered atop. Two small boys, most likely under 6 are making use of the art supplies while quietly giggling at the story they are whispering in one another’s ear. Around the room, others waiting to be called appear to be interested in old magazines articles as they flip through the pages. It is rather obvious they are simply avoiding eye-contact. No one wants to be here. It’s a gorgeous day outside. No one wants to be here. She, in particular, doesn’t want to be here. The two windows across the room pour light into the receptionist’s desk area. The rest of the room remains in shadow. The receptionist looks up only when a new visitor enters the room. Other than that, her eyes remain downcast. It’s uncomfortably quiet.
Adele notices the piped in music. “It has no soul” she noted. “This room has no soul. I have no soul.”
“What am I doing?” she cries inwardly. “Is this really happening?” As though she were experiencing an outer body experience, she feels herself floating overhead, watching herself below. To a stranger she appears bored. No emotion whatsoever. An occasional brush of hair off her forehead, a random check of her emails, a study of her cuticles, a disinterested flipping through a glamour magazine. She too makes no eye contact.
Internally, a different story. Her heart pounds furiously. It takes every ounce of her self control to hold back the choking tears. She feels waves of dizziness. Her mind races through the same questions she has asked herself over and over and over again. “How? Why?” She knows the answers but she continues to ask. Maybe she has overlooked something. Surely her imagination is running amuck. The big AHA will hit any moment and she can et up and leave. She’s nearly 50 after all. Missing a couple of periods was normal for her age. Damn, how many of her girlfriends’ “coming of age” celebrations has she participated in recently? Surely the nausea is due to something else. The recent weight gain and exhaustion are normal for her age. She should know. Her older sister had turned her onto the Menopause Goddess Blog a year ago. In this blog, women her age across the world share their personal experiences involving “the change.” It’s all there. She’s read stories, medical journals, listened to friends. This is normal. Missed periods, weight gain, exhaustion, mood swings. “It’s crazy to think there is anything else going on.” The nausea? She ponders again, why she didn’t just have the nerve to purchase one of those home strip tests.
The door leading to the back rooms opens. A twenty-something nurse steps out and cheerily calls out, “Adele?” —Theresa Souers