Darkness births the light

Day 196 and 197

Photo by Michelle Johnsen

Photo by Michelle Johnsen

Sometimes, at the end of the day, I sit here in front of this blank screen and think

“what is there to say?”

Should I describe how each new day brings 10 new heartbreaks?

destroys me in 1000 different ways?

That each news headline twists the knife,

slices to the quick,

leaves me gasping for air?

How does this project affect my daily life, you wonder?

Well, I don’t shy away from the broken-ness anymore.

Levels of air pollution, the dangers of glyphosate, the death of the bees, rhinos, gorillas, frogs, bison, fish, forests, oceans,

the earth.

The love I feel for my sweet child,

the frozen helplessness I feel

at raising him

in a world

in the throes

of collapse.

Give it to me,

lay it on me in news articles and documentaries,

in conversations and studies,

from my own, quiet, first-hand observation.

I take it.

I read it, and I hear it, and I look at it,

and here I am still standing.

The darkness, the sadness, the awful truth,

hasn’t killed me

like I thought it would.

It hasn’t pulled me to its depths

down to the underworld.

Or maybe it has.

Maybe that’s where I live now,

with the dirt, and the stones and the ancestor’s bones,

down beneath the earth,

where the dead things live.

Only, its not how you would think,

here, underground, in the dark.

Its’s nothing to be afraid of,

it turns out.

It’s where the roots grow,

twined together in thick ropes and coils,

where the deep, cool waters

fill pockets and pools.

And far below,

in the deepest depths,

it’s where the heart of this planet dwells,

hot magma,


a great heartbeat

pulsing, pulsing,


How does this project affect my daily life?

I live in the dark,

but it’s alright.

Because it turns out



the light.

Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen




One response to “Darkness births the light

  1. This is so beautiful.
    And the photos are perfect.

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