Night

Night

Written at 2:30am

I love the night time. Specifically, I find 4:30am to be the most perfect of times. It is so essentially quiet – just after most of humanity has retired to bed, and just before even the earliest risers shake off the remnants of sleep. And it is always quite exceptionally beautiful.

In the city there is the ever-present glow of street lamps illuminating the darkness, like so many orange candles – not enough to really fend off the darkness, but enough to make the shadows seem almost friendly. In the countryside there is often the same glow peeking over the horizon; unless one finds oneself in true isolation, where the delicate silence is unbroken by any evidence of humanity.

That time of night that is not yet morning, but is no longer filled with the final stirrings of life that reach so far into the night; it offers a tranquillity that is matched by little else, unless travel to distant, uninhabited lands is counted. It offers unbound freedom for the mind to exercise itself, with no distractions. The ideas that hide away in the bright, bustling day can stretch out their limbs and step into view. All the best ideas flower in the depths of night, when one can feel most truly alone.

You see, creativity feeds upon life. Like a great lurking parasite, it drinks up every possible sensation that one experiences. It imbibes every second of the busy day; all the conversations; all the thoughts that you share, and that others share with you; all those other thoughts that you tuck away in the recesses of your mind, secret even from yourself. It needs people, action, and activity to sate its ravenous appetite for inspiration.

But in order to truly achieve its full potential, it also needs space away from all this. Like the larvae of some great insect, it bloats itself all through the day on whatever comes its way. Then, when all is silent and still, it breaks free from its pupae and stretches its gossamer wings. Tentatively at first, it will take flight and begin to explore. Eventually, with time, space (and frequently a little tobacco in my case) it will extend its expeditions to encompass the fullest extent of the imagination.

When one embraces not just the life and light of day, but the quiet moments of the night, as lonely as death – then one can do anything.

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