Dark & Lovely


Dark and lovely. That’s the name I’ve given to the aspect of myself that I can’t quite get a handle on.

It is dusk and the forest is groaning under the weight of the first snow of winter. Heavy and wet. 

The coals in the wood stove glow red. The furnace kicks on, the radiant heat pings, but I can’t bear to turn on the fan to move the wood stove heat around. The quiet is too enticing.

The dough for kaiser rolls rises in a bowl on the sideboard in the kitchen. Turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwiches for dinner. Greg, who has been pushing himself to finish building an iceboat before the lake freezes, is upstairs trying to catch a nap in our lumpy bed.

All along, I have thought of dark and lovely, romantically. Tonight I wonder if it was just a misunderstanding. Romance, it seems, has come to mean candlelight, wine, flowers and relationship between two people. As in a dozen roses and reservations at a French restaurant! How romantic!

But Romance referred to an era in art and philosophy long before it became associated with lovemaking. Heck, even lovemaking has been lowered to a euphemism for sex. But that’s another diatribe. 

Merriam-Webster, Romantic: 4:a: marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious or idealized.

Nothing like Miriam-Webster to quicken my heart. Emotional, remote, mysterious!  I’ll trade all my dark chocolate for that. 

I wonder tonight, if there was a hitch in my subconscious grasp of dark and lovely. Romantic, but the wrong use of the word. 

When dark and lovely beckons, it’s impossible to enjoy it on its on merit. It’s a feeling, a mood and when I have a mood I really like, my impulse is to do something with it. Capture it. Coax it into one container or another and carry it off to show someone.  My instinct is to make it perceptible to someone else, to get someone else to see it too. Like seeing the aurora borealis alone. The impulse is to run inside and fetch someone to see it too.

Usually, that container is a reverie, a romantic story I tell myself. Set the scene. Add the characters. Find out what brought them both to this place in this moment. 

At dusk, dark and lovely called me to the door.  I stepped outside. Yellow sunlight licked the tops of the snow-covered trees as the darkness rose. 

Something exciting brushed past me and entered the house as I closed the door, with a final admiring glance.

I waited for a sultry scene to arise from the red coals of the wood stove.  

Tonight, dark and lovely didn’t seem to have so much to do with two people in a passionate situation. It seemed so much bigger and more diffuse than that. Almost as if dark and lovely were merging with the sunny January day feeling, which is how I explain the divine to myself. 

The something circulated by the fire, toyed with my coffee mug, slid across my brow. It seemed so…here. So present. 

But this hour finds me too fatigued to rise to the occasion, for that is what it feels like. 

Yet, I gained some ground. My container is inadequate. That is good information.  

Click the PLAY button to hear Dark & Lovely

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