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We Need The Dark

Kari spends much of her time thinking about the meaning of life and time. She has concluded love is the meaning and time doesn't exist.


This article is about how, if we never had bad, we would never truly appreciate the good. If we never really had to fight, how could we really appreciate the conquest.

If you had never been alone, would you know what loneliness is? You would know the dictionary meaning, but would you know the emotion? I do not think you can know the fullness of having others in your life if you have never been lonely.


I grew up with two sisters and one brother close to my age. We also had one sister who was nine years younger than me. Between my sisters, brother and parents, I was never alone. I savored alone time. I would find it in small minutes and little whiles. I loved being alone.

I was never really alone. I had a strong faith in God and he has never left me. I am never alone, but sometimes it is nice to have a friend here in the physical world.

As I grew older, I moved away from my family. I made friends, got married, got divorced and found loneliness. I was so used to people always being around me, that I had never experienced loneliness before.

I started appreciating my friends here on earth even more. I had never understood loneliness, never having been alone. Only after experiencing loneliness could I really and fully appreciate love.

Working and Fighting

I have had a pretty easy life. (Most of it.) I am smart and school was never a problem. I did not have to study very hard. I have good retention and recall. This is a blessing, not anything I did. I never had to fight very hard to make my grades. I took it for granted that I would get "A"s and I usually did.

Then nursing school came along. Suddenly I was challenged more than I had ever been before. I still got "A"s, but now I had to fight for them. There was nothing easy about nursing school. I had to put myself on a strict schedule of studying, school, and clinicals.

Each "A" I received in nursing school made me proud. I earned the grade. I could no longer take it for granted. I had to work and fight for each one. I realized this was how people had felt in high school. They had to work and fight for their grades. That is why it seemed to mean so much to them. I had finally learned the thrill of conquest.


Without the ability to compare and contrast, we assume what we feel and see is normal. If there was no dark, we would not even have words for light or dark. We would not need them, there would be no comparison. We would never "look for the light" or "feel the light". No one would be scared of the dark. There would never be a "cold, dark night". I wonder what we would call dark feelings.

We Need The Dark

If it wasn’t for the dark, there would be no light.

If it wasn’t for the wrong, there would be no right.

If it wasn’t for the silence, there would be no sound.

If it wasn’t for the lost, there would be no found.

In this life there is bad and good,

By comparison each is understood.

Without the one, could we know the other?

Would we know order without the clutter?

If it wasn’t for the empty, there could be no full.

If it wasn’t for the ruckus, there could be no lull.

If it wasn’t for the crazy, there could be no calm.

If it wasn’t for the hurt, there could be no balm.

When the good comes, remember the bad,

It makes the good better to be had.

Comparison is what it’s all about,

How the bad makes all the good stand out.

Without the violence, there would be no peace.

Without the agony, there would be no release.

Without the horror, there would be no singing.

Without the end, there would be no beginning.

We are each given to understand,

The glory of the good in our hands.

We need the dark dusk, the fog and gloom,

To see the light as each day it blooms.



There are so many feelings that we do not understand. If we never lived through war, how could we really understand peace. Many of us are lucky in having enough. We can say we understand insufficiency, but do we genuinely understand. Have you ever been in a situation where there was not enough food, no clean water, no roof over your head?

If we have never been in a situation, we can never actually understand the emotions fostered. Sometimes, through the stories of friends and acquaintances, we can get an inkling of the feelings. Empathy is God's gift to us.

There was a point in my life when I felt guilty for all God had given me that had not been given to others. Now I do not feel guilty. I'm glad that I have never felt war or homelessness. I just wish everyone could have what I have. I wish it could be true for all people.

Embrace Your Loss

I am learning to embrace my losses. Each end brings a new beginning so sweet. Every night closes with a breathtaking sunrise. I feel that you can never appreciate something until you lose it. You can appreciate it, like I appreciated my good grades as a child. But until you are without, or have to fight for it, you will not really appreciate the having.

I hope everyone reading this has sufficiency in every day. But I know not everyone does. Try to remember that all darkness ends. I know what it is to lose hope. But I have found it again. Try to find your hope. Maybe you will find hope because of your family. Maybe you will find hope because of a hobby. Many times we can find hope in a pet.

I have been in that pit with no light in sight. Feeling overwhelmed when I thought of how much it would take me to fight my way out. Wondering why bother. Just wanting to lay down and die.

Please find a stick to latch onto. I know it is nearly impossible, but you need just one little stick. As you keep this stick it will grow until it is a tree that surrounds you. You will rest in it's shade and listen to it's song in the breeze. One little hope can grow into more. I love you!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

The Good and Bad Song

© 2017 Kari Poulsen


Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on November 18, 2019:

Brenda, Thank you. I'm glad you liked the poem and article. And I also love the visual that line brings.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on November 18, 2019:

Thank you very much Ben for your kind words.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 17, 2019:


This article is written with truth in each word. We must take the good with the bad.

Life teaches us so many things. The struggle, though it may be difficult, is well worth it in the end.

Others often do not know what one is feeling. It seems hard for them to comprehend when they know nothing of the path he has walked down.

Loneliness can feel like that pit in your stomach...never knowing if you will make it.

I love this part, "As you keep this stick it will grow until it is a tree that surrounds you."

Absolutely awesome.

Thanks for sharing.

Ben Reed from Redcar on November 17, 2019:

A wonderfully crafted poem that contrasts the good and bad experiences of life. Always a joy to read and always with such meaning.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on February 02, 2018:

Peg, Thank you! I think we can never fully appreciate what we have until we have experienced the opposite. Not that we cannot appreciate it without, we can appreciate, but not fully. Life is all about balance.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on February 02, 2018:

Your poem really sums up the beauty of balance in life. It is through our experiences with the dark that we can truly appreciate the light and the good.

"By comparison each is understood.

Without the one, could we know the other?"

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on January 20, 2018:

DREAM ON, Thank you so much for sharing. I too seem to downplay the bad in my mind, and over time I just remember the good. Many of the best things that happened to me in life are begun in bad. It is an important thing to remember we cannot change others, we can only control how we respond. And I agree with the helping others, we cannot control what they do with out help. You are very wise!

DREAM ON on January 17, 2018:

I do enjoy all the good in life. Even though the bad does exist it doesn't mean I have to be part of it. I have found in my own life if I focus on my best experiences and pick them apart there are a lot of sadness before and after. I am under the conclusion that we are constantly in a mix of all emotions and if I can create sadness I can also create happiness in the physical world and in our dreams. My father told me years ago you can not control other people lives all you can do is live the best life you know how. Helping people as you go. Remember even with your help they may go back to the way they were before. They might even end up worse then they started. Another unsolved mystery of life I ponder. Thank you for sharing your hub. I love my together time as well as my alone time. Some how the saddest times in my life are pushed in the back of my mind and on occasion I rediscover them in a new light. They no longer have such a terrible grip on me and in my mind I give them an outcome I have always desired. Me having more control over my feelings and the rest of my life. Have a great night.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on January 01, 2018:

Thank you, Peggy, for your kind words. I remember feeling so guilty for so long as a child due to the birth lottery. I do not think I am any different or better, so how is it I was lucky to have better? We are certainly blessed to have empathy. Caring is the best approach.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on January 01, 2018:

Mr Happy, Without duality we would only know one side of life. How boring. That scientist's explanation made me laugh also. I would expect a long and complicated definition, but he cut right to the chase, lol. I too believe we are spirit first. I think of my body as the "clothing" I wear in this lifetime. Life is a mystery!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on January 01, 2018:

Thank you Dora! I spend a lot of time wondering about life.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2017:

What Tessa commented regarding a birth lottery is so true. Those of us living in more affluent countries have better odds of surviving and perhaps enjoying what life has to offer. As to the rest and what you said about empathy...that indeed is a gift. We do not have to experience everything first hand to care and try and understand. The caring is perhaps the best approach. Hope your darkest days are in the past and brighter days lie ahead. That would be my wish for everyone!

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on December 31, 2017:

I appreciate your article and I appreciate your Intent. Thank You.

I was just having a conversation with my father at dinner about "duality" and how in the human perspective, we're always comparing things and thinking in terms of relativity. My father mentioned how he was listening to a scientist talk on tv and that scientist described "cold" as the absence of "heat". That made me laugh. Not because this isn't true but because duality and paradoxes are a big part of Being Human, especially if we indulge in it.

I am of the opinion that we are Spirit first, then Human. I see Life as a Mystery although, I do still indulge in the Human aspect sometimes.

I enjoyed the read. Happy New Year and all the very best to You!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 31, 2017:

Thanks for sharing your insight on feelings and your trust in God. The poem is beautifully done and full of truth.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 29, 2017:

Thank you so very much, Nell! I'm very glad you liked it.

Nell Rose from England on December 29, 2017:

Wow! such a powerful poem, and so very true! wonderful Kari!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 28, 2017:

Tessa, I agree, loneliness is not about being alone. When I discovered loneliness, I was surrounded by people. I guess I did not explain that. You don't have to be loved and cared for to know loneliness. It's just once you are loved and cared for you appreciate it more than someone who has never felt lonely.

I agree with the birth lottery. There is so much I do not know because of it. I have led a very sheltered life in the USA. We are so lucky here not to have to worry about war and famine.

I am so sorry that you have had to accept there is not end of the tunnel. I remember being there and it is abject misery. I wish I could do something to help you and make your life better! Remember, here at HubPages, we do love you! Although, I understand that this is not the type of love you want or need. It is so nice to have someone in the physical who meets these needs.

Tessa Schlesinger on December 27, 2017:

I think there is some truth in thus, but something nigiggles. I am not quite sure what

Loneliness isn't about being geographically alone. It is about being connected to other people in some emotional or intellectual way.

There have been times in my life when I have felt very alone but it has had more to do with not being connected to like-minded people. One can be alone in a crowd.

Here's the thing. I know exactly what being lonely feels like, but I do not know what it feels like to be loved and cared for. I have not needed to know what it feels like to be loved and cared for in order to feel alone at times.

I also do not believe all darkness comes to an end. I have lived a great deal of my life in abject misery. Now I have just accepted that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

In Africa, I see lives snuffed out before they have started. I think the birth lottery has a great deal to do with where we find ourselves in life.

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