On being Gothic

As long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to dark things.  Dark things are not evil things.  Dark things are deep things, and deep things intrigue me more than those fluffy little things that float lazily on the mainstream.  Mainstream, to me, equals mediocrity.  Mediocre things are death to my spirit.

Darkness inspires me, and I take refuge in all things dark.  At the risk of being labeled, I’ll go ahead and say I’ve been of a Gothic persuasion since well before the whole Goth subculture erupted in the late 70’s-early 80’s.  I just didn’t know there was a name for my way of looking at and interacting with the world at large.  Even as a child I knew, just knew, that there was way, way more to life than what I saw on television and how people around me lived.  I could at a young age feel a connection with the deepest parts of life.  I was connected to life and saw things that others couldn’t see.

The night sky is my sanctuary, my church.  I feel the most alive and at one with everything when I’m outside in nature under a deep purple blanket of stars.

The moon is my Muse, and I attune my daily life to her changing phases.  I find much peace in cemeteries and tend to spend a lot of time roaming around the grounds when visiting one.  All of those bones at rest give me comfort and keep me aware of my own mortality.  Sometimes I see a ghost, but when I do I’m not afraid.  I encourage the spirits to contact me.  It keeps me alive knowing that the dead still exist in another plane of existence.

As long as humans have roamed the earth, death has been lurking in the shadows.  So to assume that people with a Gothic bent are weird is a misinterpretation.  Goths are no different from anyone else.  If anything, we have a better understanding of life and death.  Having faced and accepted the fact that we are finite creatures, we spend more time enjoying life than we spend trying to run from death.  Death is our friend.  Death is the end of life, and after death we move on to other places and spaces and times and dimensions.  It’s simply a transition.

At least that’s my personal idea anyway.

Goth as a subculture has been in and out of the spotlight often during its entire lifetime.  However, the idea of Goth has been a part of humankind for centuries.  Just one look at the old churches and cemeteries across Europe is proof enough.  Writers like the Brönte sisters, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, and Edgar Allan Poe are forever linked as Gothic masters of fiction, and art museums around the world are filled with dark images.

Goth is everywhere.

So next time you encounter someone with a dark appearance, don’t be afraid to smile.  We are likable creatures of the night and, most important of all, we don’t bite.   🙂

(Artwork © Arthur Spear)

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