Do Not Fear The Darlene Beck Jacobson

"For children tremble and fear everything in the blind darkness, so we in the light sometimes fear what is no more to be feared than the things children in the dark hold in terror and imagine will come true." - Titus Lucretius Carus  99-55 B. C.

There are a lots of scary things going on right now. Sometimes it feels as if we can easily become paralyzed by fear, unable to make a decision, complete a task, venture beyond our four walls. But rather than allowing ourselves to be consumed by fear, we can light the candle in this dark place. One way to do that is to write.

Creativity allows us to open the doors to dark places, pour out the vessels that hold sadness, fear, doubt. Spill these feelings into a tape recorder, onto the pages of a notepad, into our computer. Confessing, sharing, releasing all the difficult things that stand in our way and block the light of creativity.

Here's what my main character eleven-year-old JACK from WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY, knows about darkness:


When I was Katy’s age, I used to be
afraid of the dark.
Shadows on the wall from cars passing by,
flashing headlights
sounds of the night
made me bury my face under the covers.

I imagined all the scary things I couldn’t see,
waiting to get me
if I wasn’t watchful. One night,
I woke up crying after a nightmare,
screaming for the monsters to go away.

Mom and Dad rushed into the room. Dad pulled
me onto his lap, rocking me
until I stopped crying.
He asked me where
the scary places were. As I pointed out each one,
he pointed a flashlight beam on it.

This is what it looks like
in the light, he said. No matter how many times
we turn off the light, it doesn’t change. He
handed the light to me and
told me to shine it wherever I thought
the scary things were. I moved the beam in all
the corners
under the bed
inside the closet
behind the door
flicking it on and off until I was satisfied.

Then Dad said,
remember in the dark what you learn in the light.

Instead of cursing the fear and darkness or letting it crush you, bring it out into the open, name it. Recognize it. Shine your light on it. Unleash the creativity hiding in the shadows. The creativity that is always there...even in the dark.


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