It's simple. This is art-imitating life, and we can relate to it. COVID has claimed 6.34 million lives to date, and those deaths didn’t happen in a vacuum. All of those people had family and friends who were devastated by their loss. It’s a given that we’ve all probably known at least one person who lost their life to this pandemic – my husband lost three friends to it in 2020. And these losses aren’t the only ones: also consider that people continued to suffer and pass from other things during that time, and visitation in hospitals and hospice care pretty much ceases, leaving families to deal not only with loss, but with coping with the added element that we couldn’t be there for our loved ones. The reaper came knocking on all of our doors in 2020-2021 in some way, shape, or form, and we’re all grieving and suffering from the post traumatic stress of a scary world.
So when you heard that grandfather clock chime, it resonated in ways more than the mysterious Scooby-Doo vibe from our youth. We know that monsters are real, and it’s easier to visualize it as a 7+ foot monster than a virus that attacked at a microscopic level. We did fear what was unseen. Perhaps at some level, we still do.
Oh yes, we’ve seen the darkness. We were forced to face it, and now it’s coming out in our art as we attempt to cope, to understand it better, and to move forward and hopefully find some light. Unfortunately, as with real life (spoiler alert), the season did not have a happy ending. In fact, much like in reality, the tale will continue into the next season.
Don’t these tales always continue? It seems a constant cycle of dealing with triggers and figuring out the best way to move on. Have we really overcome? Do we see the light? Or does that darkness continue to break through into our world, raining ash on all of our hopes and dreams for the future.
I hope not. I will admit that my writing has gotten darker in the past couple of years. I realized that happy endings don’t always happen, and when they do it’s usually at the loss of something held dear. Or at least, that’s an evolving theme in my own writing. I’ve been told that “Free,” my winning Reedsy story, was my darkest and most disturbing piece yet. It’s following the trend. I guess we’re probing the darkness so we can step into the light with the wisdom, knowledge, and skills we need lest it should return in the future. Or at least, to cope with what we hope is a better balance in life moving forward. I can honestly say that we appreciate the light a lot more these days.
Let’s hope not. Actually, that Reedy story inspired me to attempt more humor in my writing. We may be trying to figure out the darkness, but we also need to get back into the light, and moments of levity are necessary. Even Stranger Things had it’s humorous elements throughout to connect viewers with the full range of reality.
It seems that art and life imitating each other is an endless circle. Here's hoping it's a cathartic release to prepare us to continue our journey into the light.
And finally, if you've had Metallica's "Master of Puppets" stuck in your head since the weekend, then this one's for you. You're in good company!
That's all today. Take care, and have a great week.