Please forgive the almost oxymoronic nature of the blog’s caption. We all think that no power leads to darkness, isn’t it?
The world owes a lot to Benjamin Franklin, the scientist who invented electricity. It’s human to want light and warmth. God’s first recorded words, according to the Hebrew Bible, were: “Let there be light.”
The night has a dark side; literally and metaphorically: ghosts, scary monsters, robbers, the unknown. Electricity’s triumph over the night keeps us safer as well as busier.
But whatever extends the day loses us the dark. Our always on, 24-7 culture has phased out the night, so much so that we treat the night like failed daylight.
Night and dark are good for us. As the nights lengthen, it’s time to reopen the dreaming space. Have you ever spent an evening without electric light? You would have noticed that when the lights are on, we are all in conformity mode. Saluting the default template, playing it safe, keeping up with the Joneses, effectively talking about our outer lives. Living the expected.
It’s different when we are sitting around a fire or candlelight which is when we begin to articulate our feelings. Our inner lives. We speak subjectively, argue less, there are longer pauses. Noticed? Or you could not see it in the dark?
To sit in isolation in darkness is curiously creative. We have our brainwaves , best ideas and Eureka moments in the dead of the night and the moment the light comes on we are thinking projects, deadlines, groceries, bills…
The famous “sleep on it” when we have a dilemma we can’t solve is an indication of how important dream time | darkness is to human wellbeing.
Food, fire, walks, talks, dreams, cold, sleep, love, slowness, time, quiet, books, seasons – all these things, which are not really things, but moments of life – take on a different quality at night-time. Creativity, like human life itself — begins in darkness.
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
— Mary Oliver
Switch off to Switch on!