The Light in Death

Adedolapo Olisa
4 min readMar 14, 2024

A piece exploring why Dolapo, a middle aged man, finds comfort in things otherwise considered dark.

If you believe your neighbor, you would think that I stole your poundcake.

Yes that is a random phrase that has nothing to with what was percolating.

Was… because as soon as I took the picture, the feeling, the words, left me.

I write like an artist recreating a picture. There is an inspiration, a feeling, a thought, an emotion and sometimes all four.

All I do, is attempt to recreate it using words. Maybe describe it is the better language.

I take a glance, in my mind’s eye, then I pour out what I see as an expression that I hope language adequately preserves.

The goal is to ensure that if I or you read the words in the sequence of phrases in 50 years. You get a clear sense of what my mind was drawing using words.

But the beauty of that thought is the reality that my words are like 2D to a 4D reality. You will need to add the dimensions that do not exist using your own livid experience and sometimes the knowledge from one who lived in the same time as I do or someone who has quieted the sounds of the ocean shore to see pretty little sunsets of the mind.

My sunset is death.

The last 2 years, I have developed a romantic relationship with death. Not to scare you, you can replace death with dark emotions. Death in a sense encapsulates the natural decay. The emotions, the realities, the losses, the feelings that kill.

For instance, I rather hope and dream about what I regret in life than take the same regret plough new fields of dreams.

To be fair, I am ploughing fields of dreams, new ones too. I just do not find pleasure or as much pleasure in them as I do in things like regret, loss, pain, and yes — death.

In the airplane, in the air, watching Origins. And I find my soul leaping for joy like a pregnant woman feeling her son kick to say, I’m alive!

I often wonder if that kick is a painful delight. Like

heyyyyyy!!! You mother grower! I am here, do you like how this feels? Baaammmmm!

The mother simultaneously feels pain, her womb is literally being stretched. Yet for a desired child, one she is expectant over, that pain is delightful. Because of its significance, it means there is a life in her still. A very vibrant life!

Death has been whispering to me that she is not the monster that she has been advertised to be.

Pain has been reminding me that it is the most consistent friend. I don’t need to do anything to feel pain. I just need to grow old. And if I do things, I can expect a cut. But pain is beyond physical too.

Pain is the reminder of limits. The reminder of change. The reminder of living. The reminder that my body works. Pain is the feedback within me responding to death outside me. Pain is the good good friend that will tell the truth when I am wrong or even when life is not just peachy.

So how can pain not be YOUR friend? How can pain not be worthy of embrace? Why is pain a mere reminder of wrong. When pain is more a reminder of my body knowing what is right ?

Do you discard the friends that tell you the truth? That challenge you? Do you run them out of town? Do you kill them with ibuprofen? The real ugly part of pain comes when we put a blindfold on it and stuff its mouth with cloth so we can shoot it repeatedly everyday for being unpleasant.

Pain told me that it’s a lonely generation for we don’t care to believe anything that isn’t candy to the tongue!

So how about death? Well:

Death is dark.

Death is black.

Death is the African that is very human. Very necessary. Very subservient. Very much the fabric of how everything good gets manufactured and maintained.

Death is also very black. It is the human we package into any form needed to glue living together.

In this generation, black is entertainment. The cure for the reminder of how much time we have to feel pain. The ibuprofen for our boredom.

In the last generation, black was a slave. The cure for the necessary production that America could not afford to pay for.

Black is not a race.

Black is the image of all things we are allowed to deValue, deDesire, deHumanize.

Black is death, the necessary, the unpleasant, the used, the glue.

“Will you remove the DE in the verbs and adjectives? Will you see death, will you be black? So you can know the light that death brings.

Death is the cycle that removes the trees that are old; death is the sickle that prunes the young so that the air can go round. Death is the axe that erodes a whole generation so that the root can start afresh, better ?

Yet husbandry says, the careful seasonal pruning, is a necessity of life. It is the arbiter of light. The harbinger of beauty.

Death is black.

Death is pretty.

Death is soul.

Death is your friend.

P.S: harbinger and arbiter were words used not for the meaning they convey but because they came to mind and I liked them. Replace them with the words that complete the sentence and maybe even share them with me :)

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Adedolapo Olisa

I’m an aspiring story teller that is learning to let stories tell their own morals. You’ll find me where Faith-Tech-Art meet.