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The Dance with Death

Warning: Parts of this post talk about items that may contain triggers for some people. The content is very dark. If you have ever had problems with self-harm; especially cutting, or suicidal ideation, then it may be advisable not to read this post. Please be careful when making the decision and view responsibly.


“The Dance with Death” comes from my favorite author’s, Terry Goodkind’s, series “The Sword of Truth”. The following is an excerpt from the Temple of Winds page 352 on what the dance with death is:

This one on the door, like the ones on his wristbands, was a kind of dance used for fighting when outnumbered. It conveyed a sense of the movements of the dance, movements without form.

He touched a starburst symbol on the door. This symbol was an admonition.
Keep your vision all-inclusive, never allowing it to lock on any one thing. That was the meaning of the starburst symbol: look everywhere at once, see nothing to exclusion of all else – don’t allow your enemy to direct your vision, or you will see what he wishes you to see. He will then come at you as you become bewildered, looking for his attack, and you will lose.

Instead, your vision must be open to all there is, never settling, even when cutting. Know your enemy’s, moves by instinct not by waiting to see them. To dance with death meant to know the enemy’s sword and its speed without waiting to see it. Dancing with death meant being one with the enemy, without looking fixedly, so that you could kill him. Dancing with death meant being committed to killing, committed with your heart and soul. Dancing with death meant that you were the incarnation of death, come to reap the living.

In “Confessor” the last book of the series, Richard describes the dance of death as follows:

It means only one thing, and everything: cut.
Once committed to fight, cut.
Everything else is secondary.
That is your duty, your purpose, your hunger.
There is no rule more important, no commitment that overrides that one.
The lines are a portrayal of the dance.
Cut from the void, not from bewilderment.
Cut the enemy as quickly and directly as possible.
Cut with certainty.
Cut decisively, resolutely.
Cut into his strength.
Flow through the gaps in his guard.
Cut him.
Cut him down utterly.
Don’t allow him a breath.
Crush him.
Cut him without mercy to the depths of his spirit.
It is the balance of life: death.
It is the dance with death.

Right now, I am at a crucial point in my life. I am at a crossroads where choosing the wrong path could easily lead to my death. I stand alone at these cross roads in life. I have no one’s love anymore to provide me any additional strength or reassurance. No bright star to look toward and use as my anchor, to help provide me purpose and a reason to continue. For many long years I have fought, it feels at times that I have fought all my life. Fought one opponent or another. When the enemy is external, it is easier to fight them and triumph. Now though, now the enemy is within me. Within my own heart and soul. The enemy I fight is fear and pain. The enemy is regret and loss.

I need to commit to The Dance with Death to have any hope of surviving. Only if I fully commit to it can I hope to survive, then enemies are many and powerful. The loss of so many loved ones, the regret of mistakes and failures in my life. The pain from all the losses and from all the failures, all the mistakes. The fear brought about by being so totally abandoned and rejected by the world.

Even one misstep during this dance, one missed attack, any single mistake could cost me my very existence. It is odd that I have been able to help others with this dance in the past. Helped them shine in it and overcome it, yet I find it so difficult for myself. I think the reason for that is, I knew they needed me, they depended on me. Right now, no one needs me. No one cares. No one wants me.

This leads to a defeated feeling and belief. A sense of “why bother”. To engage in the dance with that attitude is to ensure losing. One can only “win” the dance with death if they are committed 100%, not just in body, but in mind, heart and soul as well. My vision now is locked in, locked in to the pain, loss, regret, etc that surrounds me, waits to destroy me. Just waiting until the time is right to strike me down.

Already, the thoughts of giving up and taking my life haunt me as never before. The whisper to me, whisper of an easy way out of the pain. A sure thing. A sure way to end all the suffering and pain in my heart and soul. Promising me that I will never again have to suffer through losing someone, I love. Not having to suffer through the regret of failing or making mistakes, of hurting someone I love. Never needing to feel any more pain in this world.

There are days when this is a very difficult thing to fight. At times, it seems so right to think of this. To think “why not? At least you wouldn’t suffer with these pains anymore” …to feel like “who would care if I died?” I used to have someone on my side. Now even she wants me to die and be miserable. If she can’t stand by me and love me for my faults, what hope do I have? I have had no sleep tonight and will be leaving for Ohio to meet my dad in a few short hours. The drive is six long lonely hours, on a day when I really do not care about living. Where I feel so destroyed inside.

I need to find the strength to engage in this dance, but right now, I don’t have it in me. I don’t have what it takes to commit to the dance, to commit to what I need to save myself.

It is the balance of life: death.

Perhaps it is time to bring balance for my life. Perhaps the time of my death is near. To die a total failure and loser, unloved. To die with no special person to care or miss me. No special person to mourn for me. Only to have people hate me and wish me dead. Everyone to see me as a failure in life.

No matter how hard I have tried, all I ever do is fail. I fuck up repeatedly…why I should bother to fight for my worthless life. Perhaps the world would be better off without me in it.

When she was on my side, it meant everything to me. I had the one special persons love. The one person in this world who could help me through this. In her love, devotion and faith I found the anchor I needed and the light to show me the path to take. Now even that is lost to me. She was the only one who could save me. Now I die, it is only a matter of how long.


Posted: December 28th, 2008 under My Journey.

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