Some nights I find it hard to sleep. I lay awake listening to the silence, interrupted ever so often by the pops and creaks of an old house. I lie in the dark, my eyes adjusted, trying to make out familiar shapes amidst the greys and blacks. I feel the stillness of the air against my skin, and the warmth of an occupied bed. All the while, listening to the silence. I feel as though those late night, or early morning hours, depending on how you look at it, carry a certain power with them. So often is it that we find ourselves surrounded by sounds, lights, colors, feelings, temperatures, and so on, that we forget what it’s like to be surrounded by nothing at all. To my mind, it’s at these times that our brain starts to function differently. We think differently. We feel different….maybe we really are different. Maybe it’s at those times that we become someone else. Not so different to be unrecognizable, but different enough that if we could see in the dark and gaze into a mirror that we may not recognize ourselves. Strange then, that at such a moment of oddness we could see with such clarity. I find myself looking within when the external world is clouded from me. I find my thoughts to be more grandiose, more unique; and stranger. Maybe it’s not the sleep that brings our dreams, but the absence of everything. Maybe it is at those strange and special hours that our mind can dream, whether we are fast asleep or awake in bed. I would like to think that there is some kind of magic hidden just out of our sight, that only works on us at those special times. For a few hours, we are given the chance to be as human as possible. The night was made for us, and in the night we may find our true calling.
January 16, 2012 | Categories: The Balance | Tags: absence, clarity, different, dreams, hours, human after all, late night, lifeaftersocialmedia, magic, night, oddness, strange, the hours, walrus | Leave a comment
I remember going to a construction site with Jesse and climbing up a big dirt hill they had been using for fill. It had this one sheer wall on it that dropped around 30 feet, almost straight down. We dumped gas off the edge and climbed down to watch it burn. The way it glowed, with the sun setting just behind it, it made it seem like our fire was the only thing keeping the world from another night of darkness. We loved fire. We never destroyed anything important, we just wanted to feel the heat and watch the flames. “Some people just want to watch the world (have a controlled) burn (where nothing really important gets damaged)”.
It has always bothered me the way our culture views fires; If you love fire, you’re a pyromaniac or an arsonist. It wasn’t so long ago, for us anyways, that when the fires went out you simply froze to death. Early man survived because of fire. Fire let us settle in every corner of the globe. But now we have no need for fire. We’ve replaced our wood burning stoves with gas fireplaces, and now they are only used for decoration. We entrust our warmth to little digital keypads and our furnaces. Our stoves and ovens use gas and electricity. We never worry that the gas will stop coming through the pipes. But in all of us, coded into our very being, we still long for the warmth and flicker of the flame. For me, it reminds me that I’m human and that I’m alive.