Facing the Dark.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent a few free evenings reviewing some of the movies I’ve referenced over the last four years of writing.

One evening, I had a Meryl-fest with It’s Complicated and Julie and Julia.

The next evening was Eat Pray Love.

Then I rounded it all out with My Life In Ruins.

If you haven’t guessed yet, and I guess I did it unconsciously, but through watching all of them, I found that besides all having central characters being women, all of the movies have one outstanding quality in common: hope.

Have you ever noticed that hope is the one thing that dies hardest and last? That no matter how hard life becomes, hope always finds its’ way in to help us in our darkest hours?

I guess it’s all a matter of perspective, how we perceive it and if we open our hearts and become aware of it. I’ve found when I get to that point of awareness, hope always seems to be waiting like a friend wearing a warm and patient smile.  It then goes to work, closing doors that need closing in order to open up windows that show me a brand-new view of the world.  Ironically, I always find out later on it was important for me to see that view so I could embrace new ideas coming into my life.

I once wrote about my favorite section of Myst IV: Revelation‘s ending scene, you know,  where Atrus looks at us all and reminds us that endings are just another form of beginning? Well, remembering that, it makes one of  the Myst Universe’s taglines “The ending has not yet been written” even more poignant.

We all have to face the darkness. It can be inside of us just as well as outside of us. We all have to face endings that are filled with rude shocks which often leave us screaming about the scalding hot coffee that has just landed in our laps because of the size of the pothole we just ran through. But whether we like it or not, we can not enjoy the light without knowing how dark things can get.  Inner demons, addictions and a gamut of others, not forgetting just plain old fear. I’ve looked each one in the eye and I can honestly say that the cold, unyielding dark is nowhere I want to spend a lot of time visiting on a regular basis anymore. Believe me, I’ve spent the good majority of my life battling the dark – to the point I could publish a braille map I know it so well.

I’ve come to believe that those dark moments in our lives are scary and hard because it jars us back into reality and forces us to step into the light. They make us rise to the occasion; they inspire us to change the parts of ourselves that we don’t like and know those things must change for us to be happy in our lives.

And that’s where hope just loves to sigh with its’ patient smile and look at us as if to ask, “Hey, what took you so long?”

But that’s the lesson, isn’t it? Hope stands next to us like a trusted friend, always there, vigilantly giving us a much-needed respite from desolation. Even during the darkest of nights, hope is there.  All we have to do is remember to look up and see the stars.

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