Thursday, July 24, 2014

Acquainted with the Night

The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb- time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.

- John O’Donohue in Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Had a good day yesterday.  Our pasta and meat sauce lunch was fantastic, and I won the jackpot.  Yep, I finally got the full card.  Made myself ten dollars.  On a busier day it would have been more.  It's a little over a year now since I retired, and I think I joined the Center a week or two after that so I'm at or nearing my one year anniversary.  The year flew by.   

'The world rests in the night'.  There was a time when I used to wait for everyone to go to bed, and then I would step out my back door and become 'acquainted with the night'.  I loved the quietude.  Sometimes, it the weather was bad, I'd turn off all the lights, the television, and sit in a darkness lit only by candlelight.  The night has been my time for as long as I can remember.  I can still picture that little girl I was sitting up in bed playing with paper dolls by moonlight.  Or those nights my friend and I slept outdoors in my backyard.  I discovered an entirely different world out there...and even then the quiet of the night was special to me. 

Even while I was still employed, I still found time to enjoy the night.  Yet, ironically, now that I am retired and have nothing to pull me out of bed early in the morn, I find that the latest I go to bed is 11 pm, and I usually fall out as soon as my head hits the pillow.  And, I am up and about early morn, sometimes before the sun comes up.  

Speaking of the night, 'Acquainted with the Night' by  Christopher Dewdney was a fantastic read.  I've already read through it twice and often skim over some of the chapters.   The  book is arranged in 'hours' of the night, starting with 6 PM and ending at 5 AM. Within each hour, the author focuses on one part of night, such as night creatures, dreams, insomnia, fears of the darkness, children's view of night and  ancient and modern night celebrations. Indeed, everything to do with the night is found in this book from the stars above to night in art to creatures who live in caves or the abyss under the sea. Just talking about it makes me want to dig it out again.

Wishing you all a blessed day.


1 comment:

  1. We don't really have True Night anymore in urban centres, I think, because of all the light pollution. True Night is pitch black, out in the middle of nowhere, with no light but that of the moon and stars and no sound but the natural sounds of nature.