Tuesday, October 09, 2007


The last weekend in September, I was back in Connecticut to visit my mother. She lives in the northeast corner of the state. It was when I went to bed, that I realized how dark it was there. I began to think about dark, and the qualities of darkness. I have lived most of my life in larger, more urban areas. In most places I have lived, when the lights go off at night, there is still a fair amount of light. It comes from the street lights (or currently a parking lot light). Almost always there is at least a glowing clock in the room.

However, my mother lives in Connecticut's "Quiet Corner," and I don't think there is even a street light in her neighborhood. Her house is shaded, and the bed room faces west. I haven't checked the phase of the moon, but I am thinking it was probably close to new moon (dark).

I turned out the light, and found myself in complete darkness -- it seemed as completely dark as in a photographic darkroom! It was unnerving at first.

Normally, when I wake up at night -- even in the days when I was camping, and in the wilderness -- there is enough ambient light to at least see outlines of nearby objects. Here, there was not even that very small amount of light. I found it disconcerting.

In my undergraduate studies (Religious Studies at Brown University), there was much discussion of the theme of light and dark in the writings of the Early Fathers of the Church. Was this a realization of some deeper issues? I'm not sure. I don't feel a "darkness in my soul" currently. As a matter of fact I am pretty content. That is why I can wax philosophical.

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