09 Feb A Way from Darkness
I ordered “A Way from Darkness” in the first weeks of the year 2017. It had long been on my wish list, but being at home sick with the chickenpox that my lovely daughter passed on to me, and had already exhausted all my books and shows, it was a gift from heaven disguised as next day delivery.
A Way from Darkness” is the book memoire from Taylor Hunt, one of my inspirations in this Ashtanga practice, and recounts the hardships he went through with addiction.I’ve never met Taylor in person, and I don’t know if he will ever read this or if I will ever have the chance to talk to him, but if he does: holy shit Taylor.
In context, I have never dealt with drug or alcohol addiction, but I’ve also went through my parents divorce at a young age and I can relate to the misanthropic rage and discontent, the rumination on the end of days, the feeling of guilt, unfairness and shame that falls on our lap unwanted, the slow burning pain and the complete and absolute unknown and uncertainty that we as kids have zero tools to deal with.
Taylor’s book sets the tone firmly right from the start: human relations are a distressing, uncaring place. From the get go we feel that what we read is crystalline in it’s displeasure, but at the same time memorable and quotable, designed to be screamed out at all AA meetings, support groups, to friends in need and strangers in the street. A story of recovery from addiction may not set the world alight with originality but Taylor does it instead with absolute fury and absolute catharsis, unequalled in the poured feelings and careless approach about subjects that for most, would stay away from prying eyes, hidden in the darkest corners of our mind. If you’re used to the usual love and light and Namaste, rainbow-unicorns-yoga fantastic overcoming stories you may find the first chapters of “A way from Darkness” a little demoralising with its relentless negativity but it’s a powerful anthem for the disenfranchised and really very bloody good at what it set out to do: tell you about the Real world.
Taylor’s story take place before a diverse tapestry that’s unrelentingly brutal, yet littered with expansive, unsettling atmospheres, from the workplace, crack houses, friends and girlfriends, each line, each memory comes lunging out of the pages packing a punch worthy of a VICE episode. It’s a concise and brilliantly crafted journey that rises and plunges through echoing spaces and buzzing memoires, with bleak yet hopeful outlooks on how strong and resilient the human race can be, and how much of a pure ‘shitstain’ our species can also be at times.
In a world that often pressures people to “move on”, and that promotes distractions such as entertainment, drugs and alcohol, sex, and even spiritual practice as bypass, Taylor helps us awaken to that sacred place within our hearts that embraces our losses rather than pushes them away.
Taylor helps us remember that death is imminent in order to live fully, unapologetic, and with fervor. To know that time is borrowed is the great motivator. To embrace the imminence of death, is to embrace the eminence of life.
He chose to use his story to move himself and the world around him. To grow. To be better. To relieve the pain and celebrate the triumphs.
And for that, so should we.