night excursions

20Feb10

This is a picture I took on my phone this evening in Martinborough. It’s a little wooden church with the lights on inside, at the very end of sunset.

I just went through my camera photos and discovered a lot of wobbly photos I have taken recently on night excursions. Some of which I will share here, some I will relegate to the recycle bin where they belong. Actually, many of the ones I will share most likely belong in the recycle bin too, but there is something charming about their wobbliness, or I want to keep them as a mental note of the evening.

I like night a lot. I am a night person. Night is weird, though. Everything changes. Perspective changes. In the dead of night things mushroom or snowball or balloon – whatever the word is. Things take on eerie shapes, quite divorced from their innocent daytime form.

Things look nice at night. Lights are nice. Candlelight is nice. Dim rooms are nice. Light against dark is nice. I think partly I take night excursion photos because I like the way things look when I cannot see them properly, and really for no other reason than that. I like things lit up. I like walking when it’s nearly night time and seeing people’s lights come on.  [On that, Ali Smith wrote a really good story about that – the feeling you get when you see the lights in other people’s houses. I did try and find the story, but it’s buried somewhere three-deep and I gave up. I think the story is in the collection called Hotel World.]

I have an old favourite book called Night, by A. Alvarez. It’s really just a study of what night – and darkness – is. I might read it again, now that I have pulled it out, right after I finish reading my field study of melancholy.

I like this quote, from Don DeLillo’s Americana: I began in the dark and would no doubt end the same way. But somewhere between the beginning and the end there would have to be an attempt to explain the darkness, if only to myself, no matter how strange a form the explanation would take, and regardless of consequence.

Dark is a bit of a clusterfuck, when you think about it. Maybe it pays not to, most of the time [see earlier post on overthinking].

I didn’t take the No Exit photo. It is a (bad) photo of a photo by Leigh Mitchell Anyon from his Night Series. I had to get the camera on an angle where the light wouldn’t reflect in the glass, so there are a few foreign objects (namely circular black object above right hand barrel) that aren’t in the original.

This is Oriental Parade on a still night.

This is a pretty lightshow at a concert.

This is some kind of fairground attraction.

These are fireworks that look like jellyfish.

This is a full moon.

And these are apartment lights that nearly look like cats’ eyes.

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