“I wish to know an entire heaven and an entire earth,” Henry David Thoreau wrote in 1856.
One of the first things I had to get used to (or better: one of the first fears I had to conquer) in France was the dark. It gets dark here. Not a little dark, pitch dark. A dark I wasn’t used to, a dark I forgot about. But in that dark I found more light than I could imagine. A whole sparkling dotted sky that lights up just for you. Making you feel smaller and more real than anything found on earth.
Since I feel bothered by the absence of the dark when I am in Amsterdam – or any other urban environment, just like I feel disturbed by the absence of silence. Two things people shrug about when I mention them. Who needs darkness? Who needs silence? When you’ve got a whole city of comfort and pleasure and distraction just there for you.
Well, I need it, I feel it in my bones, I need it desperately. I need silence to quiet my mind. To be able to hear my own voice. To hear beneath my own voice and that of the people that matter to me. Silence is the language of nature, it goes beyond sound, beyond human language.
I need the dark. The total rest of the senses. The making room for non human stuff. In a lot of ancient cultures darkness is considered sacred. It is even forbidden to illuminate it, for light scares Spirit away. And isn’t that exactly what do actively, telling ourselves the dark is something to be afraid of, light is safety. So scared of Spirit, so scared of ourselves.
I found this long read that explains why we darkness is important for us and how the stars humble and quiet us in such a beautiful way.