The shadows are back. I haven’t invited them in this time and I won’t. They are camping out around my house. When they were approaching, I was sleeping more – because night was starting to stretch over day. Today, I felt the knots in my stomach. I felt the eclipse suddenly and knew they’d arrived all at once. I didn’t have to look out the window this time to know that it was them. I wasn’t expecting the shadows and I wasn’t expecting to be so aware of their arrival. Still, I have enough in my house to be well until they pack up and leave for a season. I’ve deleted instagram and facebook off my phone already. The shadows have learned to communicate with me through social media if I refuse to let them in. I can’t look in the mirror for too long after I know I’m presentable, because they speak there too. I have to be more disciplined while they’re camping out so that I don’t feel free to let them in for a cup of tea and chat. Get up at 6am, pray, do yoga, study, write, brush teeth, have breakfast, class, study, lunch, read, rest, dinner, workout, shower, pray, sleep. I have to be kinder, more gentle, more patient. Use body scrubs more often, drink more water, have candy nearby, remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I have to breathe deeper, because I’ll be in the house longer and have no access to sunlight or fresh air (because the shadows are out there) and that makes my fuse short and everything goes wrong more often. When the shadows were away, I was so full of joy and gratitude for everything around me, I was able to memorize the layout. The memory of what my house is made of and how my house is built makes it so much easier to navigate, even though the shadows have swallowed the light outside.
Before, I didn’t know where anything was and I couldn’t see in the dark. I’d see the shadows and I’d say no to them. Then, I would end up sitting in a corner for a while and figured letting the shadows in would be better than sitting in the corner, because at least they’d hold me, they’d swallow me. The darkness felt more comfortable with them ravaging the house than it did with them outside and me with my knees to my chest and my face to my knees. I would hear the shadows knocking without end and throw the door open wide, inviting them in gladly. The shadows started getting used to me saying no and then changing my mind and they’d wait patiently until I got weary and lonely inside.
I think they’re waiting patiently now. They don’t know that I’ve taken inventory of my house. They don’t know that I’ve memorized words from the book that will keep me entertained and steadfast. The shadows have no idea that my muscle memory will allow me to walk freely in my house without stubbing my toe over and over again. They are not aware that I’ve found comfort and security in talking to myself. The shadows don’t expect me to not get lonely this time, because they are clueless to the fact that I found light in my house that is in no way connected to them encompassing my house with darkness, preventing any outside light from coming in. When they knock and find I’m not coming to the door, when they camp out and cover the windows with insecurity and still hear movement inside – eventually they’ll get pack up and be on their way and I’ll feel the warmth of the sun wake me up one day and I’ll laugh.