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Disclaimer/Warning: This post will contain swearing and cursing and some anger too. If you are particularly sensitive or do not respond well to melt downs on the internet you might want to skip this episode of my yule calendar. This is written by a pissed off grumpy old lady in the forest so be warned.

This happened.
Our generator broke. We have two. They’ re both broken. Solarpanel working wonders but the sun sets at 3 and our battery bank is broken too. I don’t have a lot of power on the computer, this post will auto publish tomorrow. Jeppe is not at home. I forgot our telephone somewhere in Denmark. It’s just me and Sigurd now. And the dark.
The dog is pacing back and forth between the windows barking at something out there.


It’s a sweet little thing and it’s been good to us. I took it inside. Changed the oil and cleared the air filters. Nothing.

It never seizes to amaze me the systems we are bound to. If we don’t run the generator (which we do too much because the battery bank is old, worn and dead) we depend on candlelight. Candles don’t grow naturally here. I COULD make candles with pig fat or something, it’s possible, it’s not like people lived in darkness in the old days. Oh. Hey. Wait. They did!
But not us.
None of us live in darkness anymore but maybe we should because then this happened:

So the child and me sit in the chair and look out the window. We watch darkness fall. Watch darkness spread. Watch darkness eat. Watch darkness crawl. Watch darkness oozing. And then it dawned on me. It dawned on me in the dark.  I realise now why I hate christmas so much.
I had a revelation in the dark. I had a vision.

“Be happy be happy!”
Happiness have been demanded of me since I was one day old. Don’t cry. Later: don’t be angry. Never.
Be happy, be happy, look at all this food, all of these toys, are you not happy? No? well then think about all the poor children in Africa, they would be happy, for sure.  And then you feel like shit because you’re not happy. Not being happy is definitely on you. Somethings wrong with you. Feeling happy was your ONLY job. And you failed miserably.

Could it be so that the more resilient amongst us developed this darkness in the heart because it was the one possible protest?
The only protest we could muster?
“I refuse to be happy so fuck you and now watch me self-destruct!”
How’s that for a movement of resistance!

Stress. Could that be the body resigning from these insane demands that we have to be fully happy, whole and content all of the time?

This is the reason I really fucking hate christmas. Christmas reminds me that I am required to be happy, slave bound to a whole system of happiness.
Choirs of happy shining people yelling at me “Be happy! Be happy!” Every billboard, every single corner of public space is infested with notions of happiness… even here, out in the wild, in the darkness because all of that is in my head now, I was raised in it. It doesn’t rub of easily.
And those who refuse to be happy are hidden away or requested to swallow the happiness pill.
How can you tell me this is not science fiction?!

And now that I’m pissed I might as well give it to the cultures of resistance too, occupy love and going green, all of the overly happy *insert subculture* screaming at me that I have to live in the NOW. Love. Bliss. This moment. This.
And if I’m not “feeling it” then I clearly gotta work more on my “self” (whatever the fuck that is) because I’m not vibrating on the same levels as them or something, apparent to everyone that the level you need to vibrate on is something having to do with heart, heart, heart, heart, heart, stars, love, shining love, all is one. NO! I’m not one! I’m a million people at once and I won’t be happy because this incredible omnipotent demand to be happy…. makes me angry.
Yeah that’s right.
I fucking hate love!


Saint Lucias night have been consider dangerous through the times because light and darkness is even now and the gates between this world and the other wide open. These are delicate, fragile times but I’m here to tell you that I’ ve been into the darkness and it’s not evil at all and I don’t think we should fear it just so much.
See, I found the most beautiful thing in there. In the dark.

The first thing I realised in the darkness has to do with evil.
I realised what is truly evil to me. It’s not the supernatural creatures.
It’s evil when people fuck up my sense of reality denying my rights to my own perceptions. It’s evil when my emotional life is demoslihed: What is right, what is wrong, what is happiness, what is depression, what is light, what is dark. Don’t tell me. These are MY emotions to touch and feel. And to share. If I bloody well feel like I want to.
Be not my tyrant. Be my fellow man.
I feel as I do and there’s nothing wrong with me because of it. I don’t have to feel any different. For whom sake should I?

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to be happy. I don’t want to surrender to love.
I left for the woods because I was fed up with people telling me to feel happy. To my extreme discomfort I realised that now that I live in the woods (a whole, joyful life in pact with nature) I am even more demanded to be happy. More happy. Even more happy. At least a whole lot more happy than the sorry suits working for system.
Well you work for the system too if you tell me what I’m supposed to feel! If you feel that happiness is the only reasonable answer or solution, the only accepted goal.
I refuse. It’s not. Life is not like that.

I won’t comply.
Noone tells me how and when to feel happy. I OWN my own happiness and there’s fucking nothing wrong with if I’m not fucking exhilarated all of the time.

The second thing I realised in the darkness has to do with love and light.

I love that child. My love for that child is a shining amber stone. My love for that child will never be reduced to oversimplified notions of happiness. My love for that child is much bigger than cultural concepts of happiness. This is eternal. This is all.
My love and my light, my happiness fulfilled.
In the dark.

I found my happiness. It is truly mine – not someone else’s. It belongs to me. It has it’s roots in this very house.
I share my happiness with you as a prayer.






36 comments on “The gift of darkness

  1. maria says:

    Tak. Amazing. Jeg er også mig selv med alt hvad jeg indebærer. På godt og på ondt


  2. To stay in tune with your post….
    Fuckin’ hell, that is a lot of anger! And I so do recognise that…..
    I do share your resentment of the christmasperiod, albeit for quite the opposite reasons. Instead of being forced to feel happy I was constantly ducking for cover and walking in a minefield.
    I too was and am sick ‘n tired of people telling me or are expecting me to be glad, happy and joyful, when I am not.
    Your post has got me thinking….. Maybe I am not really happy, simply because I can not break the bonds of society whether that is economically, socially on the larger scale or even emotionally/mentally. Especially the label “depressed” is applied rapidly, since depressed people need medication and that means a profit to someone.
    Maybe that is the whole basic idea; demand people that they feel happy and when they do not… Pills!!
    Fits into the system; create patients and thus create dependence and submission…. Drugged up slaves, forced into the straightjacket.


  3. Angela Mayo Payne says:

    Stare into the abyss and the abyss stares back. Great piece.


  4. BeeHappee says:

    OMG, holy crap, Andrea, you actually made me smile and laugh out loud with this post, not laughing at you, but laughing together with you and your honesty. Thank you! Ok, ignore my “name”, because you will hate me right now. 🙂 Interesting that you feel that Christmas demands happiness. I had felt quite the opposite here in USA, that it demanded total unhappiness, rushing through season demands of gifts, cards, obligations, none of them were related to any kind of happiness. Same with the daily demands from society, to me it always feels like it asks exactly for non-happiness, for compliance to simply be placated. Placated = not be angry, to comply, to not complain, to follow the system, to forget who you are or what you are looking for, but it is NOT the same as happiness, quite the opposite!!! In my book happiness is actually asking those exact things you are asking. I do not know if this is coming our right, there is a lot of semantics here. I think there IS a broken telephone and we have totally different understanding of “happiness”, I think. . Maybe using the word “Alive” would make more sense?
    If it makes you ALIVE to be angry, then be angry. If it makes you feel ALIVE to be sad, then cry it out, be sad. .
    You are already there, you are fine. There is no such thing as accepted goal. I do not believe in any type of sub-cultures or any single teaching either.
    Thank you for your gifts. . now that I made you feel more angry..


  5. Halleluja! I made the big generator work! ME! I did that! YAH! Yule calendar will continue, what a christmas miracle! 😉

    Beehapee, you are such wonderful person. I love the way you respond you don’t make me angry at all. What makes me angry are people condescending me or telling me what to feel. I really DO think we have an issue regarding happiness in our culture. I see it much as the concept of “growth”. Growth in the economic sense and happiness in the emotional sense…. it’s two sides of the same coin and I kind of don’t buy it. I recent that these things are presented as goals. To me (and this is just my opinion and just my truth, nothing universal about it) feeling alive is. To feel alive. With all of the complexities. All of the contradictions.

    Peace to all!


    1. BeeHappee says:

      Yes, Amen. Phew, ok I am relieved you are all ok there, and got it working, by YOURSELF! Yes, complexities, contradictions, darkness, questioning, helplessness, or sloshing in the wet snow “shackled to our own stupidities” (stealing Ben’s best line), it is all good. You can laugh at it the next moment. Maybe after you had had some chocolate. Hugs.


      1. Stef Maitri says:

        YES! To be alive. That is all. I was struck by that line of Ben’s as well.
        How I devour this- alive, authentic, true writing. I’ve lived in the depths of despair, and only when i allowed myself to dwell there and FEEL, have i been able to come alive to myself, and feel other feelings too…joy, appreciation, connection with life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  6. Tricia says:

    Hi Andrea, I’m new and came from Ben’s blog. I loved reading this because I agree. As a child I was vehemently denied my own feelings. It was not allowed. If I tried to express myself (cry or talk) I was either hit or belittled to the point of hating myself. So yes, fuck anyone who denies us our own feelings. And fuck anyone who does this to children, creating years of conflict for them later. Children are a gift, and their feelings are a gift. Good or bad, our feelings are a gift and we need to accept and listen to them. I suppose most people living in a world of distraction after distraction don’t accept being unhappy and can choose to ignore. But not everyone…as I read your blog, thank god.


  7. BeeHappee says:

    I like this discussion. Yes, sure there are feelings. Observe children, they will have sadness and anger, but the most amazing thing about children, they do not dwell on those feelings. They forgive easily. Then on the other spectrum of feelings coming and going there is an addiction to suffering, which can be lifelong. . . Sometimes it may take years to break it, lots of questioning and searching to break it, or something really painful to live through to break it. Sometimes it gets so absurd that there is nothing else left but just to LAUGH, as it all goes beyond sadness, and anger and pain.
    Would it help to have a winter roar outside? 🙂
    Just my 2 cents – as we always see everything from our own prism.
    Andrea, you mentioned on Ben’s interview that you used to work with children. Would be interested to hear more about that work and your findings.


  8. BeeHappee says:

    Andrea, one more thing. Well, actually two things:
    1. Nice swearing. Love it.
    2. Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~ Dr. Seuss


  9. hehe, glad you likes me swearing I´ve been working on it you see 😉
    Tricia. I hear you!


  10. Eumaeus says:

    the darkside … Reminds me of Danzig… I used to rock out to this shit…. come to think of it… it still rocks.


  11. Norm Andrews says:

    Thank you so much , it’s great to read that other people hate Christmas , I have tried to like it, for the sake of people close to me, but I just can’t , the whole thing is madness, firstly the religious thing is madness, then the whole commercial thing is madness.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog.



  12. nicoleaugust says:

    Made my day ! Glad you have your generator back …


  13. Eileen says:

    Overly-sterile blogs are quite boring anyway!
    Sorry for your generator frustrations and thank you for sharing your angst. Brought a smile and a number of nods of my head in agreement.


  14. Tres Jolie says:

    Andrea darling glad you got that out! Daring person, you! Not many people would feel confidant enough to publish that, myself included. You go Girl! I admit to having a MTHRFCKR moment or two myself especially in the area of equipment failure.

    But I got over the claptrap about people expecting things of me when I almost died. Don Juan said Use Death As Your Ally and I sure am doing that now! I, too, was programmed to not honor my feelings. The odd thing was that I finally realized they did it out of love. (Don’t worry about the monster under the bed, dear. It’s not real. And stuff like that) It’s so freakin’ weird! Love you! Rock on!

    BTW that kid that you LOVE. How do you deal with his feelings? Do you ever feel torn between this way or that?


    1. BeeHappee (or NOT!) says:

      TJ, good words as always. Andrea’s saying “I fucking hate love!” reminded me of EnjoyParenting post
      Are you willing to love yourself “unreasonably” too? 🙂


  15. BeeHappee (or NOT!) says:

    Andrea, I think I read this one ten times. Read on my phone walking to post office (yes, to mail christmas presents), and was seriously laughing out LOUD for the 9th time. I say it is a strike of genius, like a dark comedy. Being “fucking exhilarated all the time” who in the world had ever had that. 🙂 Even “most” of the time. Even the most “enlightened” individuals. Ever?
    I think christmas exists in the first place because people feel miserable and alone. It is like a bad bandage to fix that loneliness, which makes things worse.
    When I say, fuck it all, I just go watch some crazy comedy shows, or listen to rock full blast driving 90 mph on the highway. Not sure if you can do that in the forest and with no electricity, that must suck to be left there with nothing but yourself, with no distractions – but hey, you can turn into a Buddha or Moses or something. 😉
    When the world is crazy, it is Monty Python crazy – since you mention the guy in the suit. . Truthfully, it is not the suit that matters, I had been around some suit people who are more ‘outside the system’ than some hippies on a hill. . I still say it is all in the head
    but anyways, you’ve had enough of me.


    1. You changed your handle! Genious! (and I love monty and I think you are right about the suits)


  16. Myrna Brown says:

    Great post. Nice to discover that I am not the only one who feels that way. I wonder if all the hoopla about Christmas is how people try to deal with winter depression.

    Sent from my iPad



  17. Tres Jolie says:

    OhEmGee the ministry of silly walks is one of my all time favorites! And I love that you changed your handle to BeeHappee (or not!) I was thinking of changing my handle to Tres. Which just means A Lot. And then I can be as much of whatever I am, whenever I am it. I have to read the EnjoyParenting. Why do I think I’m in for some real irony or moment of screaming? You’re so effing real. Just like AH.


  18. Yes! My whole philosophy of life is that your emotions are YOUR emotions. NO ONE has the right to tell you to what you feel isn’t right. Or to go feel something else. NO ONE! That’s the sanctity of emotions right there. Oh, plus the darkness is wildly underrated (still glad you got the generator working again) 🙂


  19. ncfarmchick says:

    This post reminds me of a joke about stereotypical Southern (US, that is) women. I think it will be pretty universally understood so I’ll paraphrase it here:
    Two Southern Belles were sitting and drinking sweet tea, talking about their respective husbands. First SB says, “For my first anniversary, my husband bought me diamond earrings.” Second SB says, “How nice!” First SB says, “For my second anniversary, my husband bought me a brand new car.” Second SB says, “How nice!” First SB says, “For my third anniversary, my husband bought me a Georgia horse farm.” Second SB says, “How nice!” First SB says, “Well, honey, what did your husband buy you for your anniversary?” Second SB says, “My husband sent me to finishing school.” First SB says, “Well, why on Earth would he do that?” Second SB says, “So I could learn to say things like ‘How nice!’ instead of ‘Fuck you!”
    First, let me say that not all Southern women fit into either of these stereotypes (certainly not me, anyway!) But, it does humorously illustrate how we are conditioned to feel and express those feelings in so many ways. While I think I grew up in a loving home, overall, I was told repeatedly that I was “too sensitive” whenever I took offense or became upset about something said to me by a certain family member. WTF?!?! Some say sensitive, some say thoughtful, feeling, intuitive, whatever. I cannot imagine dismissing someone’s feelings so harshly. People have a right to feel whatever they feel. It is real to them and their Truth even if it is not yours. Certainly, how someone acts on their feelings is important and a whole other topic but feelings cannot be denied or shut-down just because they make someone else uncomfortable or inconvenienced. Whew! Glad I got that off my back. Thanks, Andrea! Throwing around a little profanity here and there really clears the soot out of the brain – for you and others! I usually sign off most things with “Peace” because I really do hope people find it (if they want it) but today and for you I will just say this: Be at peace or be angry but just be YOU! I think it works.


    1. It’s a wonderful story 🙂 Lately I’ ve been wanting to connect a little bit more with the grumpy old lady in me. It’s like she’s demanding some more attention 🙂


      1. ncfarmchick says:

        I say let that old lady out once in a while. She’s pretty cool, if you ask me.


  20. Pia says:

    I’m quite amazed how many people besides me can relate to this post. 😉 I’d been made to believe I’m the only grumpy, “ungrateful” person on the planet!


    1. I was surprised too! I was certain I would loose readers over this one!


      1. BeeHappee (or NOT!) says:

        And I thought you posted this to stir up some feathers, kind of like negative publicity/ negative campaign tactics. 🙂 Well it worked, got you more readers I bet.


      2. ncfarmchick says:

        Just shows you people can sense insincerity a mile away and honesty draws us together.


  21. David says:

    Thank you, Andrea! I needed this.


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