Ghost Lights

As I walk down the street

On a hot spring night,

I am overcome with a sense of longing.

A longing for the bright lights that drive our lives

To turn off and go to sleep.


Why is it that when we are in the dark,

We have to spread light in all directions?

Do we fear that the unknown will engulf us,

That the long-dead monsters will, somehow, re-emerge?


As these questions played with my mind and soul,

I reached a hole in the light, an oblivious paradise,

Where the powers of uncertainty dwelled freely,

Where I could be one with the darkness and fear and mystery.

Home.


To most, the dark is a place

Where there are demons older than trees

But I am not one of those people,

‘Cause the light was never meant for me.


-Udita Gowdety

Nyctophilia

So last night I decided to go out into my balcony and just stare into the dark beyond. I kept looking and looking and then I saw the first star I had seen in days. And then another. And then ten more. I wondered. Wondered what it would be like if each one had its own solar system, with its own signs of life. I thought, how mysterious and suffocating it felt to be the only living species we knew about. I felt one of them, whose light was just reaching us, blow up into a supernova and leave behind nothing but a tiny, infinitesimal speck in this vast, indifferent universe. And possibly multiverse.

When I look up the pitch black sky at night, dotted with stars older than human mankind, I almost feel like I’m standing on the edge of the atmosphere and I can see the darkness of the universe, which gives me immense comfort. And even though all we’d be able to see is pitch black nothingness, the realisation that this nothingness will go on forever reassures me. No matter how far you look. Now matter how many lights you put up. No matter how many wars we fight, how many worlds we put out of existence, no matter how many species crumble and fade away into oblivion, the dark will be, and the stars will continue to be beautiful till the end of this universe’s time. And then the start of another.

I used to ask myself why I loved the night so much.

Finally, I seem to have a reasonable answer.

I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. – Sarah Williams