The Dark

Thursday, 21 May 2015


“THE DARK” IS a book by Lemony Snicket which I think is rather good. I borrowed it from the library and have been forcing it down Claude’s listening devices ever since (yesterday). Oh sure, he isn’t yet fond of it in quite the way that he’s partial to Eric Carle’s ravenous caterpillar or the Reverend’s anthropomorphised locomotives of steam …no, not at all. But a wide love of literature is a wonderful thing, as is bribery. Read this book with me… I say… and I’ll help you build the best train set layout yet.

Laszlo is a boy, a smidge older than Claude I imagine, with a fear of The Dark. The Dark, naturally, lives with him (as it lives with all of us) all around, but especially residing down the stairs in the depths of his basement heart. “You might be afraid of The Dark, but The Dark is not afraid of you”, Lemony wisely and rather candidly points out. Indeed, this is very much the sort of statement I wished I had thought of myself. Eventually, Laszlo, who is a very astute young man in my opinion, does more than just illuminate The Dark. He stares it literally in the gob and befriends it. In doing so, it never bothers him in quite the same way again.

Perhaps the reason I’m liking this tale so much, apart from the warmth of Lemony’s witty technique (and Jon Klassen's groovy illustration), is that I am doing a quick-fire online writing course at the minute – ostensibly, utilising my darkest corners to improve my flow. I think of it, much like in business, as seeing competitors as potential partners instead of the opposition. Because The Dark always has an uncanny knack of being present doesn't it? So far this is a very interesting and rewarding experiment. But then, I like to stare fear boldly in the face, to call out the elephants in the room. Otherwise, I find, life becomes the epitome of futility and exceedingly bloody monotonous. Not to mention The Gloom.

So here’s to befriending The Dark in us all. And bribery, of course, given that it is such a politically incorrect child rearing tool.

Me xx