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The Visible Darkness

(Francisco Goya, Un incendio)

She fancies imagining herself dropping into an abyss. She wants to experience the tangible darkness, to be able to witness throngs of them skid pass her like clouds. Colours are no more than a sense of contrast, so light is never blocked by darkness, nor is darkness relieved by light. It might be more appropriate to say the two compensate each other: light humbles itself for the sake of darkness, and darkness cedes its territory to light. She never shudders at the suggestion of not seeing anything but herself.

It is not a reflection if you see yourself in the dark. It is certainly you that you stumble into. According to the aforesaid light/dark theory, it should not be a discovery if darkness lights up something you never know. She once heard a story of a plunger, who found throngs and throngs of human flesh pile together at the pit of a cave. “Who are you and what are you doing?” the plunger asked with voice trembled of horror. One of them wrinkled a smirk and said: “Why, sir, we are you.”

Some says that once you rebel against a thing you hate, you will gradually see yourself becoming the hatred. Therefore, you see a corpus of you on one side, and the object you target on the other, and you, the hatred, posit in the middle but you are never in-between. There you see the two arguing and you are itched to join the heated battlefield, but the judge, where he comes from should not be an issue, declares that you are categorically unqualified. Same as those who rebel against darkness; same as those who dismiss the light. You are lost somewhere in the murky cave.

Back to the plunger who turned his back gratefully to face the outbreak of light, whose diagonal slants trumpeted a hopeful augur. But instead he saw mountains of people huddling together, and still mountains of them stretching into the very pit. They all stared at him like how he stared at them, eyes bloodshot with fear. He foolhardily triggered the light, and the light amplified the dark. A visible darkness encroached all over him, not with much sound but with a bold determination. He was last remembered as an aspiring cave painter.

Bearing a torch on hand she ventures down the cave. Someone has already warned her, that it has been decades for the next audacious one to plunge into such riskiness, to awaken the dark in such a frisky fashion, such recklessness. Her courage, however, amasses. Once she is certain she has reached the pit, she wields her torch like a greedy emperor wielding his scepter. As the light creeps upon the dark, erodes it, feasts it in rapacious gradation, and the dark, unfurls its blanket, races toward his opponent, and casts it with the blanket before he can hear any sobbing, or pleading, she eventually paints the cave.


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