“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”
–Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
Ursula K Le Guin is one of my favorite science fiction authors, to the extent that some of the poetry and stories of hers have taken on a lot of significance within my spiritual life. That quote from “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” really resonated with me when I first red the story, to the point that I had to put the book down and sit with it for a bit. In a way, that quote sums up a lot about Darkness, both my path and with Darkness as a culture. I’ve talked before, about how pain-as-devotion is heavily rejected, and many religious paths Over There, like the one Jake follows, are based on joy.
I’m currently reading Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart by Steven Erickson, and it’s reminding me of Darkness a lot. It’s not just because I’m reading it with one of my Beloveds, Trev, but also because it’s a very hopeful book. Lately it’s been science fiction that’s been inspiring me, and reminding me of Darkness. It’s not cyberpunk or dystopian settings that give me Darkness feels, but stories about the best of humanity, which is what Rejoice is about.