Friday, June 15, 2018

Seeing in the Dark

I'm still writing at night.

The sun set about a half hour ago and the sky is beginning to darken. It's as if my writing self has turned on and I'm primed for time here with the blank page. There must be something for me in these evening forays so I'm going to go with it. I've noticed recently that writing at night messes with my sleep. I don't get to bed by ten, so I'm up even later than I might be because of a second wind I get when I'm not on my way to dreamland by ten. Writing opens my mind up like a lens aperture. 

A bat just flew across the darkening sky.

These days I'm writing at my kitchen table because this room has walls of windows and my view is of the tops of trees and wide open sky. As the sun goes down, the skies are filled with wild color that gently fades into softer colors. Right now there are the most unusual shades of blue-grey that paint the whole landscape. 

Who could imagine there could be so many shades of blue-grey?

The trees are barely discernible now, but I can still see them. I can see the clouds. Everything looks like a canvas of shadow.

I'm wondering if this night writing is training me to see in the dark.

To discern subtleties.

Even now as we are almost at full dark, I can discern the shapes of what is familiar. The trees that frame the sky. All of this framed by my window. And as I look up, I notice many layers of framing that take me into a deeper focus of a wider vista. 

This feels like a true metaphor for the writing life. 

There is a river beyond. I can't see it when the trees have their leaves. But in winter when everything is stark and bare, I can stand at the window and watch the waters flow by in the distance. A shimmering blue-grey ribbon. At night, the lights of Trenton illuminate the dark, and the traffic that flows by on the road by the river creates movement in an otherwise still seasonal landscape. 

It's interesting to notice that what you can see in one moment is different than at another. How our view is defined by the movements of the sun, the moon, the stars. Tonight the night still feels moonless even though a slender sliver of crescent moon sets just after the sun does. I didn't see her tonight, but I know she's there. 

Over on the other side of the house, below the treeline. 

This writing journey is taking me into some of the lesser-traveled landscapes of my soul. Perhaps even some of the darker edges. The quality of the dark is as subtle as the early summer sky in the hours after sunset. Liminal space. I am between one thing and another. 

Perhaps as the moon's light waxes over the next few weeks, I'll be able to see the features of this landscape more clearly. 

Until then, I'm seeing in the dark.   

The Summer of Self-Love is a daily writing practice birthed June 1, 2018 as a container for harnessing three months for thriving. The goal at the end is to host a dinner party. Sounds like an odd Hero's Journey, doesn't it? Most of them usually are.

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