Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Night Phenomenon

I've spoken of this "late night" phenomenon before, but not in great detail.

This Fitzgerald quote always hits me:

In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.  ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

There is a rawness inside, at least for me, when night falls. I feel vulnerable and exposed somehow, not just my mind or body, but my soul as well ... especially when you get deeper into the night, like that 3 a.m. point. There is just something ... something there that's hard to pinpoint. But for me, it's this out of sorts feeling, a discomfort, but not all bad. Just a bit ragged. 

Sometimes I'm driving late at night or just sitting at home and there is something about the darkening skies, being cloaked in shadows, that just haunts me in a way hard to describe. It feels as though the weight of the world, of my emotions, of people of my past and associated memories press in on every part of me like a hundred hands.

It ignites a combination of feelings really, which is what makes it hard to explain. When I was younger — and this happens even now every once in awhile — I would be walking outside at night and suddenly be overcome by this feeling of disgust, at least, that's what my cousin and I used to call it. The "disgusting feeling." It was like a combination of feeling violated somehow, used, tainted, seduced or manipulated ... or sometimes, an ominous feeling of foreboding.

I've never been able to figure out the trigger either. Just that it almost always happened at night and oftentimes when I was outside. And it would assail me out of nowhere and settle deep in my stomach.

Nowadays, however, as I've grown into a woman — one who has experienced so little in some ways and so much in others — the nighttime spurs very different feelings.

I feel both a swelling inside, like I've got so much running through me, I can hardly think straight ... but I also feel like I'm being drained from my core. The actual emotions range, but oftentimes they are melancholy. However, when I've actually shared my nights with someone, I mean, truly "shared" them — it's been quite some time now—the night has a way of evoking this life in me that is hard to contain once it takes hold.

The moonlight, the stars or how my breath mists in the cold air all affect me in the acutest ways. And if I'm inside, just lying next to someone, I feel a deeper connection to them somehow, like all the walls I keep up to "protect" myself these days and in the past, crumble beneath me when I'm sharing this seemingly mundane occurrence — nighttime.

Conversely, if I'm alone and not keeping busy, I often do feel the pinpricks of solitude against my insides. Or sometimes, so many story ideas hit me at once, I don't know that I'll ever get around to writing them all. But it's as though I'm suddenly overcome by my muse and unable to channel it all at once.

And again, during those moments, especially if I'm alone ... I feel a bit lost in the dark.

However, as of late, I've noticed I am no longer yearning for just any presence or any pair of arms to comfort me. I feel my mind trying to escape the things I'm feeling, but I'm forcing myself to stay with them this time and I realize that even when I do that, I'm no longer looking to find distraction in someone else.

And that, if nothing else, is progress.


1 comment:

  1. O haunting night, you comfort me... the darkest dreams, though I do not sleep... I lie and think, with thought unbound... Traveling fast as the speed of sound... Of nothing, of everything, slowly unwound. Unleashing truths I have just found. As I wait for the sun to rise, or sleep to take me with closed eyes... I just think, without control, revealing what's deep within my soul. I look to the sky and the blanket of stars that watch over me and know, that tonight I am not alone...