3/31/05 - 08:56 a.m.

There is a fine, fine line between being dark and being in a black hole, drowning in the world's hatred and pain, death and misery and suffering. Nietzsche warned that when you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back. Over the years I have become quite comfortable with the dark, and I do not turn away when the abyss looks back, nor do I lean so far over the edge as to tumble in, lost. My darkness doesn't frighten me any more, I have accepted it and learned from it in ways that many never will. I embrace it, but I do not worship it. Pain and death are neither invited nor feared. It is accepted as an inevitable end to all our lives, and the majority of us can be thankful that we will never stare it down as those on this site have.

Studying violence may lead some people into a place they'd rather not be, into a place where all one can see and feel and hear is anger and pain. The world is not all bad, it is just mostly bad. What we do in our brief time here is what matters. Time drains away far too quickly to spend our lives in fear and apprehension about what the future holds, wondering if there really is anything on the other side of life. We must not strive only to ensure our place in a utopia that may not even exist. There is much life to live, if only one is brave enough to go out and capture it.

In the course of these writings, which have come forth over many years, I have learned I can still find bliss in a moment, I can still find beauty where others see only ugliness. I don't know if any of you will understand this, but this is my world, yin and yang, dark and light, good and evil and everything inbetween. I still paint my fingernails black and dress as if I were going to a funeral, and I still put on the Sisters of Mercy and mope, alone, in the dark. I have my moments of darkness - don't we all? - but I embrace them and learn from them as much as I do the moments in which I am at peace.

I find great beauty in music, and it is one of my escapes. This morning I have found myself listening to A Perfect Circle's Mer de Noms, AFI's Sing the Sorrow, and (I will take flak from any of my friends who read this,) old Type O Negative. (Their music is dear to me from the faraway days of high school, so everyone can just shut up!) I find great solace in Sing the Sorrow, as to me it symbolizes finding beauty and peace where they may, at first glance, be none. (During the writing of my Columbine piece, however, the breathing at the beginning of track number three scared the holy hell out of me. The house was dark, it was very late at night, and I was looking at really, really gory crime scene photos. Suddenly the sound of heavy, distant breathing poured out of the headphones and I almost passed out.) To me, the album is about finding happiness amidst misery. Which, really, isn't that what life is?