Darkness

William Blake: Night

Today I found a wonderful post, Befriending the Night, by Souldipper.  I’ve never been afraid of the dark, though I know it’s very challenging for a lot of people. I’m more afraid of the burning brightness of the mid-day sun, which does terrible damage to my skin and eyes.  I say this with all seriousness. The cloaking aspects of the dark have always been a comfort to me. Yes, one has to be more cautious in the dark but I am hidden too. My dad taught me how to move very quietly when I was quite small, and walking gently in the moonlight is one of my favorite things.

I also am quite fond of caves, but one thing I don’t like about any commercial cave tour is that moment when inevitably they decide to plunge you into total, blinding darkness. That’s a kind of dark I don’t like. It’s not a natural part of a seeing person’s experience. It is interesting from the perspective of getting a tiny taste of a non-sighted person’s world, though I’m not silly enough to think that me in a dark cave = the true experience of a non-sighted person. But otherwise, it’s a few moments of disorientation that are never long enough to truly settle into and experience the cave without the distractions of sight. Then the lights come back and everyone is relieved and restless and louder. So a lose/lose all the way around for me.

I see enjoying darkness less as a huge spiritual quest and more as a matter of expanding one’s natural awareness and self-confidence, so part of our Nature Awareness exercises. Usually people who are afraid of the dark are afraid that something in the dark is going to get them, instead of being actually afraid of the dark. Or they’re not confident in their ability to handle themselves in the dark without falling over things or getting lost. I think it would be a very interesting exercise to go to our nature spots in the dark and see how the experience is different. Different animals, different smells, different spiritual presence perhaps. If anybody tries this, please let me know. I’m definitely going to try it sometime soon!

eta: a wonderful link courtesy of souldipper, about a woman’s solo nature campout. See Memory: Seduction below!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. souldipper
    Jul 03, 2011 @ 13:31:36

    Thanks for the link, Dragonfly House. You are certainly correct about the fear not being about darkness, but rather the horror of encountering something suddenly and unexpectedly.

    About a year before I learned how to let my senses work freely in the night, I heard a man’s story about being so frightened of his father, as a child, that he sat outside for hours in the dark. He could watch his father’s movements through the windows – no surprises. His story opened the possibility that I could look at the night in a different way entirely.

    Your decision to try a night in nature reminds me of a blog I thoroughly enjoyed: http://ruthie822.blogspot.com/2011/06/seduction.html

    Reply

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