365 Challenge: Day 71 – Dark

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Dark: absence of, or very little, light


When I chose the word “dark” for today, I thought readers may assume I was going macabre and evil. And while that may be a good topic for the future, as there is a little sinister part of me that is dark (in the books I read), today, dark refers to the brightness of a light. So… now you’re probably thinking I’m a little peculiar to choose this as a personality-type trait. But it’s true, I prefer to be in dark, or less bright, environments. Perhaps I should explain…

I’ve mentioned before that eyesight isn’t one of my strengths, which has always meant I’ve felt ‘in the dark’ over a great deal of things. It also means my eyes are very sensitive to bright lights. As a result, I tend to keep the lights on a lower setting than most others. Whether I’m watching TV, resting, or even having a casual conversation, I prefer a dim light… sort of mood-inducing lighting. Even when I’m reading, the lights are on only as high as necessary to not strain my vision while reading the words. It feels more calming and relaxing, rather than as though I’m under a microscope being observed by everyone around me.

Many fear darkness. I do not. I’m not saying I’d be happy to be locked in a room with no lights, nor would I want to roam a dangerous place without any way to see what’s around me. I simply mean it feels natural to have a bit of shade, a way to hide a little, from the surroundings. Bright lights tend to make me feel like I should be up jumping around, being very active, almost on stage for all to see. My quiet nature likes remaining in the background, so this makes sense based on what I’ve noted before in the 365 posts.

But darkness is also a place to go when I need to think. I’m easily distracted by noise or moving objects. If I ever need to mull over an important decision, let my emotions control me, or absorb serenity, I need to be in the dark. To me, darkness is like that stage before life begins. It’s a moment of silence to ponder all that could happen… all that you want to experience. It’s the few minutes before the world consumes your innocence, your opinions and your actions.

Darkness, not bright light, is the initiation of something for me. And that seems a bit odd to say it aloud, but it’s how I associate change or transition. Darkness is that period between two situations, two people, two answers, two of anything… like bookends, leaving what happens in between as a place for all to see. And when I need to re-boot, darkness is the source of “new” for me. I see this as a healthy mindset. It’s not a fear. It’s not a way to avoid something. It’s how I can process growth. It’s that opportunity to reflect on what needs to transition.

Think about how you feel after an intense emotional situation. You’re drained. You feel winded. Your body might even hurt. You need to re-group. You need to find energy. Some people rush to the gym or a sport to revitalize. I search for darkness. I listen to the vacuum around me. My eyes search for the patterns or lines, drawing me towards things I could not see when I was distracted by everything the light had shown me. {I’m not being figurative here… I’m purely talking about true absence or presence of light}

Few often think about these things, from anytime I’ve mentioned it to others. How about you? Do you prefer light or dark lights? Which gives you more energy? What about the brightness of light propels or detracts how you behave?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.


365 Challenge: Day 26 – Poetic

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Poetic: having an imaginative or sensitively emotional style of expression

Its original source, Latin, generally meant “things created,” as in words or writing. As humankind evolved, it took on a more lyrical definition for shorter works for fiction, sometimes filled with rhyme. We’re all familiar with famous poets, which I won’t note here, as there are too many to remember and too many to include. For the record, Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet, but Anne Bradstreet’s “The Flesh and the Spirit” is my favorite poem. I’ve provided a link below for you to read it when you have time, if it’s of interest. For me, the poem shows the two parts inside of me, as I’ve always felt like two different people. No, not as in split personalities… but as in two distinct driving forces, styles, needs, vibes, personas… co-existing in a single body, representing to the outside world 1 distinct person. I am Flesh. I am Spirit. How can one choose?

I’ve never liked the word “poetic.” It’s been used as a negative word all too often throughout history. Students often struggle with learning the art of poetry, whether writing their own verses or interpreting the poet’s words. It’s such a basic word and can be a simple example of creative writing. It can also be a treasure trove of lyrical beauty and infinite metaphors. But what does it really mean, really imply… when you take it for what it is: a set of words crafted with an intention, short enough to be interpreted in so many different ways.

For me, poetic has always been the way someone thinks about the words they choose. And given that I’m also a writer, as much as a reader and a blogger, it’s important that my prose be poetic, that is, in the beauty of the letters and language being used. A poem can be an expression of a moment’s thought, or it can be a year’s worth of emotional impact. Being poetic to me is about creating a sentiment I’m feeling or thinking about during those moments, and successfully sharing it with the reader at the same time.

It doesn’t mean the author of the poem is the subject in the words, or even has any connection at all — other than it being an expression in their mind of a situation. I stumbled across some poems I wrote a few years ago and spent fifteen minutes reciting them again this morning. I thought to myself on a few… “wow, these are a little awkward…” but soon found a few where I said, “oh, you do have some talent for pairing words and feelings in short verses.”

And since the 365 Daily Challenge is about discovery and expression, I’ve decided to link 6 of the poems to this post. Feel free to comment with how awful or brilliant they are!

By sharing them, I’m putting myself out there with some poems I’ve written several years ago. What I hope to gain from this is an ability to push myself back into dabbling in a little poetry again. Some of these need a little refreshment. Some need an overhaul. Some are good as they are. Perhaps this challenge will push me forward as I focus on my creativity and my pragmatic nature.

And if nothing else, it’s a quiet reminder of a time in my life where I focused diligently on creating and developing expressions of things going on in my life. From pain comes beauty. Whether it’s a break-up, a lost dream or a failure, words can help you maneuver through the situation until you heal. And while these poems were based on some experiences, they also came from pure imagination. Thanks for checking them out.

Poetry: 6 samples within 3 series

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Six (6) new poems organized into 3 groupings:   The Truth Series       Sinister Ones     Emotions

In the first grouping, entitled “The Truth Series,” the narrator navigates a path of learning a truth, internalizing the impact and releasing his emotional aura.  Truth began almost 15 years ago but has been resurrected with some new intensity.

In the second grouping, entitled “Sinister Ones,” the narrator challenges the sinister one who has hold of him going from small idle threats to grandiose imagery of how to permanently dissolve the connections.

In the third grouping, entitled “Emotions,” the narrator expresses random feelings of love, confusion and trust.  The grouping is not a series but rather a patchwork of imagery through emotional interpretation.