In Darkness Turns the Worm – A Whim by Poor William

DARKNESS TURNS WORM

By POOR WILLIAM
(Clarksdale, Mississippi)

Poor William heard a guest speaker in Bible College talk about “treasures in the darkness!” Twas something he had never thought about. Well, 25 years later and a whole lot of time spent in darkness, the dissolute lad might have just started understanding what the itinerant meant.

Darkness is necessary for a lot of things. Metaphorically speaking, it usually has negative connotations; physically speaking, it can serve as a catalyst for decompression and sleep, or it can be the backdrop for a whole lot of lonely and abject terror.

For those cradled—even the wigglers like moi—in God’s loving arms, who approach darkness with a resolute tenacity not to be beat down by what life throws at them, the darkness and it’s difficult to navigate topography can provide opportunities for personal growth and enhanced vision.

Now, don’t think Poor William is preaching here, except at his own sorry self! He runs scaird most of the time; he just don’t want to admit it, and he is way too adept at mislabeling it with something like, “It’s the right thing to do!” This fellow too often thinks he knows more than he does, when he actually doesn’t know much of a damn thing!

He’s just sayin’ that life and recent circumstances have slowed down his constant running from all the things he runs from on a daily basis. In the slowing down and the darkness, his inner vision—looking inside himself, and it’s ugly in there folks, it’s ugly—has become more acute. In not avoiding every unpleasant situation, he is slowly recouping two steps at a time and too often one-to-two steps back, an ability to face some things he hasn’t been able to face ever or in a long time.

Delta Bohemians everywhere may ask, “Why in the Sam Hell do we care what that selfish, always-talking-about-himself, lard ass thinks when he is the most hypocritical bastard in the world?”

My answer: “Y’all may be right, but sit here still I write! Maybe my job in sharing way too much information is to make others feel good about themselves?!”

Poor William and Mr. Lil John by the Mississippi River. Photo by Eric Stone

Poor William and Mr. Lil John by the Mississippi River. Photo by Eric Stone

My erstwhile companion, Mr. Lil John, a known self-flagellator and Penitente, and yours truly, The Poorest of Many Williams, bless each other by reminding each other often how sorry we are and how miserable our really-not-miserable-lives are. When the funk in darkness sits upon Mr. Lil John, it is my job to tell him to cheer up, ‘cause it ain’t that bad! I do this by saying, “Look at me Vato, you should feel good about your life, que no?”

Mr. Lil John’s job, when the blue monkey and the crocodile have teamed up to roll my ass over and over in the cold, dark waters of self-pity and un-thankfulness, is to remind me how much better off I am than he is!

Sick shit, I know, but somehow it keeps us grounded except when there ain’t no gravity in the Delta—it happens folks, but that is another day’s Whim.

Now, I am trying to let God help me stay positive, not be afraid of everything I can’t control that threatens me and my tenuous sense of peace, and I am trying to learn from the stumbles I make in the darkness. Sadly, soon as I learn something, I am back to trying to manufacture sunlight, and that just ain’t possible. Poor William’s bulb is much too dim and used for that unattainable feat.

Hey PW, where in the hell does the worm fit in, other than you are one?

Well, when the worm turns what happens? Things change; the inert becomes active, and hopefully, life for the worm enters a new phase—think butterflies from caterpillars.

How does a caterpillar become an incredible symbol of metamorphosis? By spending time in the silence and darkness of a cocoon! What emerges could not be what it is if it didn’t spend time in darkness.

If the emerging transformation does not struggle a bit on it’s own as it segues from cocoon living to life in the here and now, it will surely die. In darkness and struggle do all organisms grow, and all healthy things grow!

“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”  Isaiah

Now, where’s the light switch? pw

Flying Butterfly alongside the Mississippi River

Flying Butterfly alongside the Mississippi River

A Butterfly on some Mississippi Delta mud.

A Butterfly on some Mississippi Delta mud.

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