Once there was a beautiful glass house, and when the sun shone down, it filled the house with light and warmth and laughter. But in one corner there was a tiny dark thing, and as the years went on, the dark thing grew until the glass house held no more light and the air was cold and stale. His tendrils crept into the walls and his claws sank into the people of the glass house until the dark was all they could see.
You were born in that somber, fragile house, and you were full of life despite all the odds. With bright eyes, grabby-grubby fingers, and wide toothed smile, your eager energy was unquenchable. But the people in the house were cocooned deep in the poisonous grasp of the dark, and so you grew up unseen. And I don’t remember when it happened, but somehow the dark got you, too. Those eyes dimmed, that mouth turned down, and you slipped into the silent void with the rest of us. Invisible and unseeing.
I left the glass house and took the web along with me, and I never looked back at you and your lonely cocoon. I wrapped the dark claws tighter around my shoulders and prided myself on my ability to slip through life unseen. But the dark thing, he doesn’t want us just blind; he wants us blind and miserable and dead. I don’t know what kind of lies he told you in your cocoon, but he told me ones that made me scream until I thought I would suffocate. And I wanted to, because the dark wasn’t the friend I’d thought. But I was invisible, and I was blind, and the dark thing is nothing if not possessive.
But somebody saw me. Or rather, several somebodies. I still don’t know how, or why, but they came along and befriended me, and some of them carried the dark along too – but they also brought the sunshine. And desperately scrabbling in those faint, glimmery patches, I had a revelation. I don’t know about you, but in that fragile house, I believed that we couldn’t see color like everyone else because the dark was all there was. The dark thing, he’s tricky. He knows that Seeing is his demise, and so he shrouds us in despair and darkness. I started looking for the things he didn’t want me to see, and counting them, and writing down all the little secrets in the patches of sunshine.
Grass green and fluffy thick
Light in water droplets shining
Coffee smell, strong and happy
And you know what? The pen, it really is mightier than the sword. Or the razor blade. Or all the other biting temptations that the dark thing offers you in his mockery of independence. For me, the pen was Sting to Shelob’s filthy web, hacking my way to freedom string by sticky, stubborn string.
Teal train car, rattling down the track
Sunset like fire against spidery trees
Hands smeared with conte red
And then I came home, and I saw you for the first time. And I remember now all the color I never registered the first time in our glistening glass house. The way the food warms up our table and our hearts. Our collection of insistently meowing fuzzballs and their unconditional love. Cold walks to school in the early morning, moon so bright against the trees and snow glistening like sugar thrown wild on the ground. I remember all the times you begged me to wake up and just See you…I know that it’s not the same, but I’m seeing you now in retrospect. Your brilliant scheming mind, finding loopholes and creative solutions to every problem. The bright mischief that still lurks behind your eyes when no one is looking. You’re a wicked shot with a rubber band. Blue looks good on you; it makes your eyes light up from yards away.
It’s so many years too late. But I see you. You’re not invisible to me.
I know the dark thing still has you tight and blind. He still sits on my shoulder most days, and I know how it feels. Don’t give up. Look where he wants you never to see. Find the color in the black and the shadow. Count the cracks in his crumbling grip with me. You and I, we’ll be the team we were always supposed to be. Invisible people, we can see each other through this. It’s hard to fight the dark alone. But Frodo had his Sam, and I’ll lend you my sun-glimmers and you’ll lend me yours, and we’ll claw through the webs in the glass house together ’til the sun shines through again.