Postcard from the Sea Library: Inside the Night

Dear friend,

It was four am last night when I finished weaving a dreaming blanket and went outside to pee. I looked up, and could see no stars. Clouds covered the night-sky like disco smoke. With constellations dancing on the other side unseen. I sat down on the porch and for a moment remained still. Deep inside the night. Over the river motorbikes roared in a rumbling joy of an empty highway. Warm gusty wind arrived like a drunk, toppled my palm in a pot and disappeared in the dark. Silence fell again like a large leaf. Silent, silent seconds passed. What if I’m gone deaf? I cleared my throat, it’s alright.

I’m just sitting here, alone, at night. “You can be what you want to be in the dark,” writes Philip Hoare, one of my favourite quotes about the night.

Moon over the nearby river Lielupe many nights ago. Photo by Beach Books.

At that exact moment someone somewhere was swimming in the inky sea, or sailing reading stars like sailors thousands of years ago, guided by night lights to return home. Matt Gaw has experienced darkness where you feel connected with wildness around you and a scary darkness where it’s so dark, you lose your body and become consumed by the dark.

Last night a lone street lamp like a sleepy eye guarded our village with a fogged yellow light. So it wasn’t that dark. But enough to feel how beautiful the night is, a vertical pause between one day and another. A chimney of time to fall into.

How was your week? What did you read? Did you watch stars or walk in a moonlight? Tell me.

I’ll write a new postcard next Sunday.


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