Last night I dreamt about a blind girl who lived in a forest made of night. Her hair was alive and each strand held a lit candle, making her a human candelabra. It seemed a sad irony that she wasn’t able to appreciate the light she gave off, but when I watched her walk though the forest I saw that each person she passed was delighted or awed as their faces were bathed in the rare light, and that after pausing a second they used a few of those moments of illumination to quietly move the dangerous things from her path so that she could walk on safely, without needing to see. I don’t know that the girl knew there were others, but she seemed confident that the world would be safe, or that it was at least worth the risk of walking tall through the darkness. I don’t know why the others didn’t stop and talk to the girl or take her hand. It seemed as if this was just a part of nature, a cycle, a partnership of sorts, and even though I didn’t understand it I woke up feeling hopeful.
If you’ve read me long enough you know that a peculiar effect that comes with my depression is that I lose my peripheral vision, like I’m literally in a cave and can just see in front of me. This morning I can see so far. I’d actually forgotten what it was like to see that much light on a horizon. And I don’t know how long it will last but I know that today I can see the sun and I’m writing this down to remind myself that it comes back, and that the relief and joy at coming out of the darkness is always worth the time spent in it.
PS. I pulled out my sketchbook and drew the girl while I could still remember all of the details and while I drew I thought about what it meant. Sometimes I’m the light I cannot see. Sometimes I’m bathed in the glow of another. Sometimes I wait in the darkness with you and remind myself that light still exists even when it’s gone from sight.
Thank you for being my light in the darkness. Thank you for moving the dangerous things from my path. Thank you for walking beside me even in the dark.
You may not always feel it, but trust me, you are a beacon touching farther than you know. In the way you make people laugh, in the way that you show love and kindness, in the way that you are unapologetically or apologetically who you are.
You are a light.
PPS. I’ll probably put this in my shop when I have time but you can print it out for free for personal use, or hand it to a friend who needs it right now if you like.