In 1994 I wrote a song called "And Darkness Was Winning." It was then one of my better songs, but it was really dark in tone, lyrically. Musically it was very suspended and somber, much like winter, much like the mood that falls over me in winter. I would like to say I wrote the lyric in winter, but I can't be sure.

I hesitate to use ad-speak terms like seasonal depression, or photo-deprivation, but really, they are real, and they are eminently applicable in January and February, at least here, in this little corner of the world. I have never lived in another part of the world for a full year, so I don't know anything other than my own experiences in my area, but these two months are brutal on the mind, when the long stretch of winter seems particularly endless. It feels at times that world will never recover from this death, and that the sun has lost all potency. Given the work day and its length, I never see much of the sun; it comes up when I arrive at work, and then is setting as I leave.

So, this image and its meaning become pretty obvious. It was shot, conceived, and edited in January, one of the two, in my opinion, most depressing months of the year. I feel deflated, I feel claustrophobic and weighed down.

In my image, the sun has been literally ripped away from the sky, and everything is barren and pallid. The boy in the shot is holding onto the last shards of light, feeble as they are.

The title comes from the refrain of my old song, this brooding ode to darkness. Here are some of the lyrics…

You were color, I was black/you said you weren't coming back/But you're mine to retrieve or deny/Mine til the day that you die/I was wrestling with the light, and darkness was winning/Wrestling with the light and darkness was winning/And it all falls/It all falls/From somewhere that you've never known before/From the dark walls, a voice calls/To break my will to tear me down/In black and blue I'm spinning round the blessed/Oh, and I'm wrestling with the light/But something slipped as I let loose my spirit/Someone slapped at the reaching hand of faith/I was down beneath the stones/I was digging up the bones/Of everyone I buried there/I was dead and I just didn't care/I was wrestling with the light and darkness was winning…

Model: Gilberto Mendez

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