Monday, January 12, 2015

Second Listen: Move Toward the Darkness

As you may remember from last week, we’re talking about songs this month—last week was a little funky. This week too, just in a different way.

Move Toward the Darkness (The Addams Family Musical)

(If you’re having trouble with the video, you can click here to go to Youtube and here to read the lyrics. I’d suggest watching or reading before reading the rest of the post.)

This is my favorite song to listen to when I cry.

It’s hard to explain why, but it is one of the best invitations I’ve ever received, and I usually save this song for when I need to hear that invitation again most.

“Right and wrong, who's to say which we should refuse? All we know, love survives either way we choose.”
I love this beginning—it removes choice. It’s not about questions or answers. Already, it’s love.
“Where, you ask, do we go when the world's not right? You and I, we reply, someplace out of sight.”
More often than not, I notice that people seek comfort from other people, whether that be love, or attention, or advice. This? This captures me. It suggests aloneness. Withdrawal. Seclusion.
“Move toward the darkness, welcome the unknown, face your blackest demons, find your weakest bone. Lose your inhibitions, love what once was vile.”
And this is what gets me. When I’m a bad place, the first thing I want to do is act like I’m not. I tell myself I’m okay, and other people don’t even get to enter the debate. But the Addams don’t stand for that. If you’re irrationally angry, be irrationally angry. If you’re offended, be offended. If there’s a frightening idea, or a person you don’t like, if there’s something that shows your weakness and your own faults, don’t hide it.

Find it. Welcome it. Face it. Lose it. And then, when you have been what you were and became what you are, love it. 
“Move toward the darkness and smile.”
When I first heard this song, I was worried I was listening to some evil agenda, but that isn’t what this is at all. What I said before still stands—we have a lot of faults, all of us. But what I think the Addams point out is that if you take your faults or your virtues separately, you don’t get a picture of the whole person. By leaving behind this fantasy that you are wholly good and confront the things about yourself that scare you, or bother you, or embarrass you, you have every reason to be happy.

You’re accepting yourself as you are. 
“Move toward the darkness, don't avoid despair. Only at our weakest can we learn what's there.”
These are my favorite lines. Basically: don’t be afraid to be sad. Angry. Irrational. Upset. Furious. Melancholy. Miserable. Horrible. Evil. Depressed. Weak. Broken. Disgusting. Unworthy.

Alone, these are feelings I would struggle with. I would not want to have them, I’d think they’re unhealthy. But that’s not what this says—when we are at our weakest, ground to a nub, we find what we’re really made of, and many times when I take a moment to analyze myself in a hard situation, I am proud of my behavior.
“When you face your nightmares, then you'll know what's real. Move toward the darkness and feel.”
Fear deludes us; when we face our fears head on, a lot of times we learn that the reality isn’t the same as what we had been fearing. Our nightmares confuse us, but our feelings show us the truth.
“Move toward the darkness, conquering your pain. Let each foreign forest offer you its rain.”
Again, we receive the message. Moving toward the darkness doesn’t mean letting yourself crumble—it means overcoming. It means being refreshed by our tears and inspired by the new and different things we open ourselves to.
“Only at our lowest can we rise above. Move toward the darkness. Move toward the darkness. Move toward the darkness and Love.”
My second favorite lines. From our perspective, sometimes we forget that rock bottom is not a prison. It’s a starting place to climb higher than you ever have before. So when we feel like crap, and we’re tired, and upset, there’s still hope, and in our darkness, there is still love.

That was longer than last week’s, but I think this song is a little more meaningful, too. Everyone faces trouble. We all have bad days. But, to sum up what the Addams have so beautifully said, I think we can turn to Eleventyseven, in another of my favorite songs.

I don’t have to feel okay to be okay. 

We don’t always notice this, but the world is full of opposites. The Addams are the family that notice. They see strength in weakness. They find beauty in ugliness. They show kindness in the midst of disgust and they demonstrate love in a bleak and heartless world.

I don’t cry often, but when I do, I still love to listen to this song. I don’t think I really captured my reasoning, or the feeling that fills me up when I hear it and it relieves me, a little. It’s a reminder. A beacon. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

And when I move toward the darkness, then can I love.

Photo Credit:

What stood out to you when you took a second listen? Did you find another meaning in the lyrics, or another special significance?


  1. I LOVE THESE POSTS. You must always do these posts. I am becoming very attached.

    “Move toward the darkness, don't avoid despair. Only at our weakest can we learn what's there.”

    That speaks to me. Also, what powerful voices they have!

    1. XD I AM GLAD YOU LIKE THEM. It is good that you're getting attached so easily, seeing as it is only the second week I've done this. :)

      And I know, right? It's awesome! I loved seeing it on stage!


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