So it’s 12:00 A.M. here and my brain won’t shut up.
Why do bizarre thoughts spring to life at night?
Speaking of night, is it even rational to be afraid of blackness? I mean, have you ever looked at the night sky? The stars are so beautiful! Although, here we see no stars now. Only thick gaseous grey/black clouds hanging low in the night perfectly masking the treasure that sky holds. How do they even teach little kids what stars are? Illustrations in books? Wow.
So much for Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars.
Well, back to darkness.
Scientists suggest that humans have always been apprehensive of dark (I’m gonna use darkness and night interchangeably). We’re simply not nocturnal. Back in the days when we were much like animals (We still are, but we vehemently oppose any truck with animals now. They’re beneath us, we own them. Ha!), we primed ourselves to be fearful of dark, to be extra-vigilant of predators who might strike in the black. We might not be sleeping thoroughly exposed in the wild now, but dark still scares the crap out of most of us. Maybe Darwin’s Theory of Evolution’s at play and this is our ancestral legacy.
I’ll take my own example. Obviously, I know strange insects make weird sounds at night. Yet when I hear Grrr, I refuse to believe it’s a harmless insect going about its business. Instead, I envision a disembodied witch-in-a-black-dress preparing to put me to deathless sleep. Sometimes it’s the ferocious beast planning to ravish me. The funny thing is, the same sounds appear harmless, even comical during daytime! Nighttime messes with our brain maybe.
Seriously though, why this fear of darkness?
I’ve never had the chance to enjoy nighttime anyway. The only darkness I really know is the one which resides in my room at night. Apart from that, no. I’ve never wandered through my city at night. In my country, I can’t dream of stepping outside in dark, I’ll probably be stabbed, or maybe abducted. The city doesn’t belong to women after the Sun has set. My parents are very clear on this—no strolling in the dark. So when I was in London last summer, I naturally took advantage of it and went on a night trek. At 3 in the night, I left my dorm, trotted to The Millennium Bridge, then a little further. And this is what I saw.
It couldn’t have been better, right? (Sorry for the bad picture quality, these were taken from phone)
We strolled along Thames (My friend and I), not a soul in sight. It was dark, it was sparkly, it was dreamy. Only the rustle of cold breeze interrupted the soulful calm. I’d never felt so much at peace before. Who knew one could find tranquility amongst the chaos of London? Ah London! It tells you a completely different story at night. I’d never felt so close to black before. To think that I would’ve completely missed seeing these spectacular sights if I had stayed in, terrifies me to death.
That night I learned that darkness is as spectacular as light, maybe even better. So now, when my savage imagination isn’t running amok at night, I do the algebra of reveries! In my mind’s eye, I see people I’ve never met, places I’ve never seen, songs I’ve never sung, tunes I’ve never danced to. When the night sets in, I come closer to my true self. With the day’s work done, I can finally get to playing all those crazy-never-gonna-happen-scenarios in my fat head. It brings me closer to the life I’ve set my heart on, the life I aspire to live. Not that my life isn’t great right now. But hey, it’s GenY, we’re ambitious, we want more.
So is darkness bad? A big, emphatic NO. Night is peaceful, darkness’s a blessing. It’s beautiful if you let it get to you. For those of you who can enjoy the dark; revel in the night, please do! You’re missing out on a lot if you’ve only experienced your city during the day. For all you fancy travellers, don’t return to your hotels before seeing what the Dark City has to offer to you. The sun’s pretty, but the moon’s even more glorious, my little rendezvous told me so much!
As for me, one of these days I’m gonna ask my parents to let me explore my city at night. Time to let go of primal instincts!