Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Love Letter to Dusk

Dear dusk,

I have been writing this post for over a year now. How does this go? How do I do this correctly?

Let's begin again.

Dear dusk,

You are, without a doubt, the best part of the day. I've always loved the dawn, but only after being awake all night. When there are stipulations to your love, it's not real love. Is that true? That might be true. We could argue about this from dawn to dusk, regarding love and its limitations and confirmation, but until then, let us pretend this to be true: love requires no limits, no exceptions, and only inclusive annoyances.

Dusk is the time to shine in the darkening world, beginning the exact the moment of the day when it becomes impossible to read the words in a book without a headlamp.

That's a real thing. You can google it. Fucking google.

Technically, it's the moment when terrestrial objects can no longer be clearly distinguished by natural light, but the reading thing sounds more romantic.

A common mistake among laymen, humans, everyone, really, is making dusk synonymous with the sunset, which is wrong. Dusk is just after that. Just. It doesn't last very long before evening officially begins. The world darkens and fades, a shadow of what it was during the day. Distinct forms melt and merge into silhouettes, creating new, peculiar shapes. If you're in a city, it's that time of the day when everyone collectively sighs and turns on the lights. At least I do, and I'm like, fucking dusk, you know? I can see in your window, do you look into mine? Sometimes I think dusk is superior simply from the perspective of voyeurism. Then I remember that voyeurism is not something I love, necessarily, just something that I find interesting sometimes, maybe once every three months or so. Which is enough.

When I was a kid, dusk was when I would leave for home, wherever I was. No one ever measures time like that anymore. Be home before dark. We'd hop on our bikes and ride home like our very freedom depended on it. Technically, that was true. Once it was too dark outside for my parents to distinguish terrestrial objects by natural light--after that, they began to worry.

So for them, dusk was the exact last part of the day when their children were safe from the inevitable night.

The mystery of dusk is that bridges the light of day and the dark of night, like traveling between realms, shaded in grays and blues. Shadows have grown old throughout the day, and by dusk they're experienced. They've learned their task at this point, which is, of course, to grow into things that are menacing, ancient, and enormous. Shadows are children of the light - so says that one guy. You know, the one with the books and the TV show. He says that. He's not wrong. By dusk, they've matured into things that aren't merely warnings of the waning sun, but representations of it.

Of course there's the golden hour, or the magic hour, which is nice and all if you're a photographer or a filmmaker. Dusk is better. Not necessarily for pictures, but It's eerie. Peaceful. Aware.

Dusk feels like activity, it feels like you're gearing up for something. The change in light brings on a change in you. It's deer-thirty, which is the worst, but that just makes everything a little bit more terrifying and a little bit more exciting. Driving at sunset is hard, specifically when you're facing west after the rain and the road is all brilliant and bright. But driving at dusk is like a dream, especially in the country. There are low lights ahead, a hazy shimmer. At first, you think it's a town, or the remains of the setting sun. But the closer you get the farther away it glows, because it's not an existing thing that occupies three-dimensional space, it's just the look of dusk.

The mythology surrounding dusk is boring, and almost always intertwined with the dawn and lumped in with twilight, and as we all know: fuck fucking twilight. The only godlike thing that mythologies tend to agree on regarding dusk is this: wind happens.

Once I heard a myth about a Russian burning bird called something, which I've been googling and coming up goose eggs. But it's a burning bird who swallows the dwarf  who steals its eggs, like the evening aurora swallows the sun. There are fantastic myths about sunset. Shalim is the Canaanite deistic depiction dusk, and his appetite is as large as his mouth that swallows the heavens: one lip to the earth and the other to the sky. He was a god of completion and peace.

Well done, myths.

Basically I love it. But the question of the day is this: what happens in the meadow at dusk?

Is it nothing?

Or everything?



Kono said...

I'll start by cursing, fucking nice to see a post up here by someone who i actually like to read, (basically there's like 3 or 4 of you left) that said, i always thought of dusk as that weird state of mind i get in between being awake and sleep, not quite asleep and not quite awake and the mind just runs and runs in the fading light, i fucking dig dusk, always have, it's like that last moment of tranquility before the raging of the night, or at least it used to be, before i got old and started spending my nights stoned and wandering aimlessly around a square room trying to remember where i left the book i was reading, cheers girl!

Chris said...

Welcome back! I've always been more of a fan of the always darkest time, but dusk certainly has its appeals. I heard through the grapevine you have been having adventures. On purpose. Good on you.

Infinite silence said...

Where are you? I miss your writing so much...Sniff...