Caribou Breathing

Caribou looked up into the dark. The night sky was black and solid and felt like a heavy blanket of nothing pressing down on his eyes. The harder he looked the harder it pressed.

He closed his eyes, feeling the pressure of the dark flowing across his eye lids and down both sides of his nose towards his lips.

The dark in the night oozed past his slightly parted lips and pooled in his mouth and he simultaneously drank it down and breathed it in. The dark was tasteless and without texture. He only knew it was there at all because of the constant pressure that forced the dark further into his body.

Caribou made a decision and breathed deep and drank heartily. He let the dark fill him gladly because he knew it wasn’t an outside force trying to wash him away.

The dark was no storm or tsunami or torrent of black rage filled with formless fury.
The dark was not being forced on him by some external entity filled with malevolance and spite.
The dark was actually small and pitiful and just a little bit pathetic.

Caribou knew he had no reason to fear the dark because it came from within him.
The dark was his own fears and anger and sadness coiled up inside him, hiding for so long that it eventually erupted only to shower back down on him.
He had no reason to fight his dark, no more than he had reason to fight his joy or his curiosity or his interest in complicated steam driving contraptions of brass and wonder.

You can’t fight yourself if you want to live free and happy.
You should embrace yourself and hold hands and venture out into the world complete, flaws and miracles and perfection and success and failure and tragedy and all.

Caribou breathed in his dark and let it fill him.

Then he opened his eyes and saw a million million stars shining at him, twinkling gently as if to say “Hi, how’s it going?”

Caribou regarded the stars as they regarded him and smiled.