In this short story collection, you will find four stories about what I think are the passions of life, and the paradoxes they bring. There is a story about religion and sexuality, a story about trauma and family, a story about sex, and a story about love. These are the lights and darks I know; these are the passions that separate life from death. They all have deep south settings, because this is my tribute to the place I am from. It's a place to be admired and improved, preserved and progressed. Like anything worth attention, it is not perfect, but balancing light and dark. These are stories of southern young people turning corners that will define the rest of their lives. They're thick in the good and bad and not yet indoctrinated; coming of age in a world that's always turned up to 100 degrees of its best and worst. Each generation takes their family's traumas and teachings and balances being better with staying loyal. We grow up, we get better. The introduction is called Light and Dark: Finding Meaning in Opposites. I engage with five works of fiction: Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, John Irving's The Cider House Rules, Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood, John Green's Looking For Alaska, and Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain, discussing how these authors reveal meaning in three sections: Protection and Trauma, Love and Fear, and Life and Death. Through these dichotomies I define my own perception of meaning and the passions of life.