You have lost. The game is over. You planned everything, tried your best, and made all the right choices. Yet here you lay, broken, bleeding, and defeated. Whether it was the whims of fate or underhanded blow, it matters not. Here you lay unable to hold onto your own life as your strong heart pumps more and more of your blood onto the floor. Your breath, which was once oh so essential, no longer seems important. You can no longer hear the scraping of air in your throat. As the roar of the void fills your ears, you cannot recall what you were just looking at, or where you are, or what you are supposed to be. You are sinking, quickly now, far far beneath the world, beneath yourself. Nothing matters down here. Everything is gone. You are not. The void welcomes you with lovers arms, pulling you deeper, deeper. You are the blackness, the darkness, the nothingness.
Somewhere, a spark ever so faintly flickers. Light? Is there light? No, it's gone now. Snuffed out, weak and feeble. The void darkens as you darken. But there it is again, stronger than before. The spark is now a small flame, living, breathing. Impossible, but there it is, raging against the darkness. With every little breath the flame grows. The flame is a thing, alive and rebelling against the blackness with every pulse of its tiny heart. The void deepens, its presence choking from the inside out. Nothing becomes you.
Your flame will not go gently into that sweet darkness. It rages. It burns brighter and hotter until it no longer flickers but roars. The sound of it fills the void, tearing at its skin. It is the bellow of the soul outright defying death. It will not be silenced. There is no alternative. The flame is screaming now, tearing at the void, bending it, ripping it asunder. THE VOID CANNOT EXIST BECAUSE YOU EXIST! YOU WILL NOT BE SILENCED! THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE!
The screaming fills your ears as your eyes snap open. You feel your heart slamming against your chest like an angry fist. Rage, pure and hot shoots down your limbs, filling them with wild, unstoppable power. It feels good. But it is too much. You must give it purpose, an outlet, or it will destroy you.
This piece was inspired by Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”. While writing this I was dealing with moderate to severe depression and anxiety. I was constantly stressed, went days without sleeping, and ended up losing 20 lbs in three weeks. It was the lowest I’ve ever been. Writing this piece was one thing that helped. It made me feel like I could stand on my own two feet, if only for a minute. If life has you feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to read this over. Sometimes all you need is that little spark to get you through another day.