“What’s so bad about darkness anyway?” she asked herself as she stood in the frame of her bedroom door counting the number of lamps and lighting devices. There were five lamps, a string of Christmas lights and five lit candles all at work by noon that day. This was in addition to the room’s natural source of light that streamed in through one large window unimpeded. It was bright and sunny on this particular day.
Still, the space felt too dark. “Too dark for what?” she wondered. Not sure how to answer herself she turned everything off, blew out the candles and closed the curtains. When she sat down the answer came to her.
Earlier that week she’d organized photos, the ones obtained in the days when light rooms were the norm. Though developed she’d kept the 35mm film in remembrance of using her schools View-Master outside in the sun when she was a child. The slides they provided introduced her to a brighter greener world than the one she’d known and lived in. She’d spend an entire recess looking through reels of flowers, mountains, trees, waterfalls and wildlife.
Staring towards the window where light had fought its way through she began to feel the darkness within her bleed out into the atmosphere surrounding her while mourning a raw sense of wonder stuck beneath a stop bath, resting and rotting in a darkroom hidden under layered shadows of silver and salted by golden discontent.
It is challenging to dream of beauty in the dark but tragedy when it dies unrecognized in the light.