There are places I don’t go anymore.
When I was younger, I sought out the dark. It was sticky and dreadful, and I often wondered if what I was doing was sane. It wasn’t. But such lessons must be learned, and can’t be taught.
I meandered purposefully on paths winding and overgrown, seeking shadows that still held secrets forgotten by all but those singleminded and righteous few still dedicated to actual truth. I believed this truth required I honestly face things broader, grander, monstrous and challenging. That it demanded that I bleed and suffer, because truth can be brutal, and there is beauty in that brutality. I chased after pain, believing the stories that scars told were sincere because they proved themselves to last even after the memories had faded. I placed myself into situations that I thought showed my bravery, because it takes courage to be vulnerable.
But this was folly.
There is no vulnerability in offering one’s self up for sacrifice in the names of deities long dead, only foolishness. I prayed to the icons of those perspectives which were not my own. This was no way to learn the truth of myself, the actuality of who I am, and how I best fit into the world. Because I do, there is no other explanation for my existence that makes sense unless based upon that foundation.
I still hunt for truth, make offerings on the altar of reason and rationality by learning from mistakes I’ve made in the past, and will continue making until I figure out how to evolve. But I don’t sacrifice my sanity for such things anymore.
More important than leaving the darkness behind for light is learning to live in peaceful co-existence between the two. Because too much light will blind just as readily as darkness will inhibit clear vision.