Featured Writer Lorna Crozier

Darkness, Its Origin

(from The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things)

Before there was anything, there was chaos, and chaos was not darkness but light. Darkness came next because light needed a companion. It needed, as well, to know what it was by seeing something other than itself for a good part of the day. Light removed a bone from its own rib cage so darkness could appear, narrow and long with the consistency of air, no marrow in it. Soon darkness expanded, became its own being, found places to hunker in when light walked the world. Then came its creatures: upside-down things, animals with masks, others with naked tails and little claws, big-eyed birds that flew without a sound, flowers that bloomed only for the blind, night-crawlers. The darkness inside people grew, too. It settled and deepened in the small simulacrum of the place where it was born, that gap in the ribs closest to the heart, and the heart, neediest, most susceptible of organs, developed the muscle to draw it in.


About the writer:
An Officer of the Order of Canada, Lorna Crozier has been acknowledged for her contributions to Canadian literature, her teaching and her mentoring with five honourary doctorates, most recently from McGill and Simon Fraser Universities. Her books have received numerous national awards, including the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry. The Globe and Mail declared The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things one of its Top 100 Books of the Year, and Amazon chose her memoir as one of the 100 books you should read in your lifetime. A Professor Emerita at the University of Victoria, she has performed for Queen Elizabeth II and has read her poetry, which has been translated into several languages, on every continent except Antarctica. Her latest books are The Wrong Cat and The Wild in You, a collaboration with photographer Ian McAllister. She lives on Vancouver Island with writer Patrick Lane and two cats who love to garden.

Image: “Untitled” by Vivian Nimue Wood, Valle d’Aosta, Italy. Mixed media. No size specified. No completion date specified. By permission.