The Night and All Its Stars

Brandon Slesser
Change Your Mind Change Your Life
5 min readMay 7, 2024

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Photo by nate rayfield on Unsplash

I often find myself being at peace in the night. The quiet whispers of insects along with the orchestra of frogs croaking in the background. The melodic noise silences the tumultuous chaos that constantly echoes in the furthest corners of my mind. In the night and within the dark, there is a certain breathlessness that swallows everything around it. The vast void that is Nyx and her all consuming blackness brings a certain serenity to the core of my being.

I used to be afraid of the dark. Wondering what lurking horror awaited for me in the shadows. Full of gnashing teeth and tearing claws. I feared what was waiting just beyond the shores of light, starving and hungry in the bleakness of the obsidian darkness. Grotesque figures and twisted arms of demons and ghouls, waiting to tear me apart. Vanishing forever. Forgotten by those that only knew me as they perceived with longing eyes and judged thoughts derived from countless generations of kin.

It’s rather funny now that I think about it. The dark is not something to fear. It is an absent of light, a place to find rest and comfort. Somewhere to renew. I would venture forth into the swallowing pit with only a lantern in my hand. It was not a lantern that I proclaimed myself, but one that was given to me to light the way. Many times I would let the flickering flame burn out its oil, losing shadow and structure of myself, allowing the unlighted force to swallow me whole. In those moments, those brief but lasting gloom filled moments, I realized that I still have the lantern in my hand. All it took was a simple refill of oil and a single match.

In the darkness I never went without either. When I thought that all hope was lost, the oil would replenish in the wick and a match happened to find its way into my pockets. Both items were not of my own doing. They were gifts I received. Small tokens of love and hope. So again, I would continue on my journey through the darkness, lit by a lantern and confidence that day would break the black allowing dawn to rise once more.

Photo by Marko Blažević on Unsplash

In those simple moments of fear and confusion, I simply had to remember that THE NIGHT AND ALL ITS STARS was just another part of what life was. Facing each moment of blinding darkness only to realize that I was never truly alone; I was gifted a lantern for when all hope seemed to be lost, I was always able to light it and find my way.

The shrieking cries of monsters and demons no longer scare me. They fear the light and the lantern that I hold. If they were honest with themselves, I’m sure that they want the gift I was given for themselves. I imagine they too find the darkness to be overwhelming and difficult to navigate; however, being that they grew from that very swallowing gloom, they probably find themselves right at home.

It was important to remember that while I was trekking through the unseeable and the unknown, that those shapeless horrors could not hurt me. Their job is simply to put fear in my heart and cause me to doubt. How silly they are to think such deranged thoughts. As long as I continued to hold onto that lantern and follow the path before me, I was safe from their hell bound clutches.

Photo by Severin Höin on Unsplash

Navigating the night and the darkness that weighs heavy is not easy for a person to do, it hasn’t been easy for me. There are many paths on this road that I am on. So many ways for me to go. There are people I meet along the way that join me on this perilous journey, some stay and help light the way, while others try and snuff out the flame guiding me.

Nonetheless, I continue on. Sometimes our group grows large and other times it dwindles down to just me and a few select few. Then there are times like now, where I have to take a path without anyone to go with me. These are the paths in the dark that I am most afraid of. Down this path are the twinkling lights of Will-o-the-Whisp, attempting to lure me away and to follow them deeper and deeper into the pitch of the night. I fight to focus and to ignore their alluring lights and soft voices.

I’m sure there will be a time that I follow one, that I allow myself to go off the beaten path. I fear though that it will be a terrible choice to make; in fact, I know that it will. Still, there is the chance that I may give in. The price of being human is falling for tricks and becoming fools to our own curiosity. The key to avoiding them and turning is not a skill that I have yet to learn. For I have followed the small fae into the darkness and found myself in situations that were beyond my very control. Desperation kicks in. The reality of this detour is harmful and full of neglect.

Still I hold onto my lantern and focus on the road ahead of me. Ignoring the seductive call and curious mind. The light at the end of the darkness is only a few steps away. Again I will fill the warmth of sun on my face, but still, the night is where I find myself again and again.

Photo by Renaud Confavreux on Unsplash

I often find myself being at peace in the night…but that’s only because I know the day will soon dawn.

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Brandon Slesser
Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Free spirited, open minded, hopeless romantic, a little stubborn, and an avid thinker.