Some initial notes on "The Long Dark"

Scratched down in a notebook in a cafe during a lunch hour, in a grim week of bad news. More to come, perhaps:

We are in the Long Dark now. Both hope and despair are the enemies of our survival. We must live in the awareness that we might not see the light come back, without ceasing to work — with empathy, anger and knowledge — for its return.

We must be here, in the moment, experiencing its fullness (whatever its horrors or joys), yet be elsewhere, removed from the madness pouring in from every side, the avalanche of degradation. We must be here, now, but also in a future we can’t see or even imagine.

We must see that we are lost, with no clear way forward, no sureties or verities to cling to, no roots to anchor us, no structures within or without that will always keep their coalescence in the chaotic, surging flow.

We must live in discrete moments of illumination and connection, pearls hung on an almost invisible string winding through the darkness. Striving, always striving, but not expecting; striving without hope, without despair, without any certainty at all as to the outcome, good or bad.

These are the conditions of the Long Dark, this is what we have to work with, this is where we find ourselves in the brief time we have in this vast, indifferent, astounding universe. As I once wrote long ago, quoting the old hymn: “Work, for the night is coming.”