Thursday, November 8, 2012
Creative Receptiveness and the Dark Solitude of Night
So I rather relish the quiescent shadows of night, where shapes loom indistinguishable, where the utter stillness can take on an ominous aspect. The late hours, or the small hours if one stays up long enough, are rich with possibility and stimulate latent imaginative pathways...perhaps it is the relative obscureness of familiar things, where contours are shrouded and masked, where pale lunar radiance moves in strange and unexpected ways, sending intermittent shafts of shadow and light through soft curtains or across the woodgrain of floor. Perhaps it is the monochromatic palette, where the resplendence of color is muted into varying shades of black and gray.
There is an inherent peace where one's mind can venture forth, unfettered by the continual interruption of quotidian babble which diverts and distracts from musings of a lengthier sort. And when one is wanting to mentally pursue the incandescent muse as she flits through ones mind, leaving a faint trail of phosphorescence in her wake, it is quite magnificent to be able to give full rein to the inclination. It is often in this semi-somnolent state of drowsy, the night wind whispering darkly rustling secrets in the leaves beyond the window, when dreams still linger in the shadows of the mind, when things are not what they seem, it is then that aspects of my novel, literary threads that I have been following like Theseus in the Minotaur's maze, come into greater relief. There is a half-profile of my heroine, a furtive glance over the rounded paleness of cheek and chin, a half-crouched urchin, more dirt than flesh, a pickpocket...a child of the sewers and fetid backalleys. A proud man is there too - perhaps a sailor, robust and weather-stained with salt-encrusted hair. A corrupt politician, with a sharply versatile intellect of devious intent...they appear and are gone in the dark shadows of my mind.
The world, at night, is a fragmented version of itself, where the brilliant intrusion of sound and color are excised, leaving only a silent landscape of shadowed greys. It is a muted place. A haunted place. But a place where writers, perhaps, have unrestrained access to the deeper creative possibilities of self. A place where the barrier between realities are blurred, where our alert consciousness (and perhaps our propensity for self-critique of a negative sort) is muffled and softened...a realm inhabited by our fictional friends who whisper on the wind if we are inclined to listen.