A man who is not on fire is nothing: he is ridiculous, he is two-dimensional. He must be on fire even if he does make a fool of himself. A flame must burn somewhere, otherwise no light shines; there is no warmth, nothing

Carl Jung

Wheels of Fire, cosmic, rich,full-bodied, honest victories over desperation.

Thomas Merton

Pessimism and optimism are slammed against each other in my records, the tension between them is where it’s all at. It’s what lights the fire

Bruce Springsteen

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” “If it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it.

Charles Bukowski

Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.

Terry Pratchett



“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

― Mary Oliver

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”

― Carl Jung

“There are different kinds of darkness,” Rhys said. I kept my eyes shut. “There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful.” I pictured each. “There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.”

― Sarah J. Maas

“It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,

Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt,

It lies behind stars and under hills,

And empty holes it fills,

It comes first and follows after,

Ends life, kills laughter.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

We are in the midst of a terrible cyclone of conditions:

  • Civid-19 pandemic
  • Enabled racism
  • Economic collapse
  • Rampant unemployment
  • Social injustice impacting the most vulnerable citizens
  • Police violence and mass shootings
  • Polarization of Americans and the decline of civility
  • A country without competent leadership; a country that continues to lose its way.

This is a dark time in our nation’s history, yet darkness is part of the human condition.

Musicians have approached darkness from many different points of view. Here is an exploration of a few renderings in song of the many facets of darkness.