The Group – Monthly Letter, May 2012

by Geoff Hall on May 29, 2012

May, 2012. Exaggerating the darkness


Mentoring support for word, image and performance arts

I love reading the letters of John. There are all sorts of interesting phrases and metaphors you come across. Here’s one, it’s a real stunner:


“…the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.”


Do we exaggerate the darkness because we have lost track of where the light is shining? Where do we expect it to shine; from an institution or a religious expression? Or, perhaps from the Halls of Justice or the various Human Rights Bills passed around the world? Maybe we have our hopes set upon the United Nations or our envied-around-the-world Coalition Government?

My latest writing project has me researching the School Massacres at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Beslan, Erfurt and Winnenden. It’s very dark material: harrowing witness accounts, media photographs, video footage and crime scene photography. What you gather from all of this is the failure of institutions and people. We can believe that the solution is political, or one of Justice and Equality, but in doing so we miss the point, that this violence against fellow humans occurs when they are viewed not as humans, but as justifiable targets.  The greatest darkness on earth… is human.


John appears to overstate the lightness in creation! Is it hyperbole? In ‘light’ of the evidence, would we disagree with John’s assessment? Or, can we accept it?


Do we work as artists to bring light, to show that this darkness is passing, that the light is already shining and diminishing the oppressive night. The great Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski once said “You can only look at the darkness so long, and then you have to turn around and face the light.

We have a choice, we can project darkness in our work or we can be transformed by looking at and then projecting the light. Sure it’s dark outside, but that’s because the light in us isn’t shining as it should. We are transfixed by the nether gloom and exaggerate its power over us. We need to re-imagine the light!

Peace and Love,


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