Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Lamps - February 16, 2010

...You light the lamps...

...You light the lamps because

you are alone in your small house

And the wicks sputtering gold

Are like two visitors with good stories...

...But of course the darkness keeps

its appointment. Each evening,

An inscrutable presence, it has the final word

Outside every door.

What story does darkness say? Are there not good stories within the enveloping reaches that connect us to all others - the stories of light, shadow, and black night? In the day light, we might imagine ourselves as separate, capable to go it alone, ego driven to get the day's chores done. But when the power of night comes with the threat of foxes that pull birds out of trees, we see that we need each other to affirm that the sun will rise once again. When the dark comes, we listen to stories of light and life. So that in the next day, we can bear the stories of dark and death.

What are nights like for you?


  1. Darkness has symbolically been associated with death and fearful things. This is not always true. Nightfall is a signal to me to forget all tasks I thought I wanted to accomplish that day. It is a wind down time of day for me. Often I do not turn on any lights if I have my computer on. When finished is soon enough. I do live alone so I have complete control of the lighting. The soft light of a night light in every room allows me to navigate without turning on bright lighting.

    The sounds at night seem much more dramatic. The cricket, frog, and alligator enjoy punctuating the night with their sounds. Even if you sit still it is as if the air hums. So,sometimes it is a mosquito. But even without mosquitoes it is like when you hold a seashell up to your ear. You hear your own vibrations of the ear drum ready to hear any sound around. The fireflies are quiet, and let their presence be known with a bit of light.

    Thunderstorms are much more fun at night. The sound of rain on the roof changes with the quantity of drops. When a streak of lightning lights up the sky for a moment the trees and objects appear where they have always been even when hidden by the darkness. The following clap of thunder reminds one of the size of the phenomenon. We even try to mimic this event with fireworks to emphasize the size of the importance of the Forth of July. If it is windy you can see the trees sway and hear the occasional dead branch shed by a tree go thud on the ground. The next day the grass seems greener and the plants perkier. I don't know where the birds and squirrels are hiding during a storm, but afterward they seem to speed up and chirp louder with happiness. Each day is a new beginning. Light will slowly keep it's appointment.

  2. Dear Sally,

    I have that in mean too - night the time to slow down and take in the world: in stars, in rain, in mystery.

    One of my favorite songs is from "The Lion King" where the song repeats, "I know that the sun will rise." Light will keep its appointment indeed.