What makes you feel alive? What makes you feel like you’re vibrating in tune with the universe? I personally associate these sensations with warm summer nights and gorgeous electric twilight. But, why are they so important to our sense of well-being? Is it purely nostalgia, or does this phenomenon have an objective basis?
Electric twilight is more intense than your average sunset. You can’t describe the sensation of twilight in terms of light. So, what is it about that time of day that makes us feel so passionate? The answer lies not with our sight but rather with our moods, in particular, how an electric twilight can pull out deep emotions from within us.
As the evening sets in, you’ll notice that colors have all but disappeared from your surroundings, leaving only shades of grey behind. While this might not seem like a lot on its own, these shades evoke a feeling which some say is somehow related to longing or mystery. The sky has turned dark, so the horizon is less visible and in turn one’s thoughts drift off into the unknown.
Imagine being stuck on a deserted island by yourself; there’s nothing around except for your lonesome self-reflection. Now imagine you were stranded at dusk; while waiting for help would be difficult enough during daylight hours, darkness amplifies feelings of desperation and abandonment. A different type of loneliness settles over you because no matter where you look there’s not another soul around.
To this day I am confounded with feelings of electric twilight – intense yet fleeting – which resonate long after their passing. Every person who experiences it will have their own unique interpretation. Some believe it reminds them of childhood summers when they had plenty of time to explore without any worries or responsibility. Others find it brings them peace and tranquility knowing that the sun has set and things will finally slow down soon. Whatever may come tomorrow, tonight we revel in the present moment!
With a swift breeze whispering through the leaves and skies stretching across the world, even someone surrounded by people can feel alone. Yet something lingers at night which electrifies those sensations of solitude. They create moments full of reverie when, no matter how high-strung you were earlier in the day, everything suddenly feels calming and peaceful. It seems if anything has value at night it’s experience itself and not tangible material goods.
These emotions bring me back to my days at summer camp when I was convinced life was about following my heart first then figuring out what to do later. Back then, it felt good to feel, even if it was at the expense of logic. The only problem with this mentality is eventually you do need to figure out what you want to do with your life and the sooner you can figure that out, the better.
This is where twilight becomes problematic. What once gave us a sense of direction has now become a vague hope that gets us nowhere. Suddenly it’s not that freeing anymore and doesn’t provide us with what we need in order to take control of our lives. This is often when frustration creeps in and leads to anger, which leads to regret. Sure, it’s nice when you’re lost in thought and oblivious to the hustle and bustle happening around you, but this doesn’t last forever either.
Once the night falls and there’s not a single sign of life around you, your inner demons start to rise up. The truth is that no matter how much you think you’ve mastered time and conquered your insecurities, they’ll still have a way of resurfacing when least expected. That’s what I’ve found at least, but it doesn’t mean I’m giving up. No matter how many times I get my hopes up only to be disappointed, I can’t stop trying again. After all, what else is there left for me to do? My sights are set on the future and whether or not my efforts are fruitful remains to be seen. But, in the meantime I am going to continue chasing after this elusive feeling of electric twilight.
Electric twilight is not a connection, but moreover a confirmation of one’s rumored desires. Twilight is found in the crevice of people, often written into the confluence of our veins. It’s a withered reminder that life is a long work in progress. Throughout the twilight, I push to do something with myself. With my hands, I grasp the first draft of my ambitions with vigor, through twilight I fill an old jar with honey and ginger tea and drink it at dawn, as if too numb to carry any poison to morning.
The wine I share becomes watered down when frost crawls over riverbanks and feels just right under my toes before it crumbles into crystal shards below me as night rushes out from her kingdom’s edge at dusk. I have never felt more connected than during these precious moments. I am no longer alone, but rather feeling, contented, wanting more. I bask in the light of evening until it washes away like sand slipping between my fingers.
As darkness descends, I lay back and close my eyes against the sky, holding onto every detail. It will all be gone soon enough, as I’m reminded that there is always a new day waiting for us. The sun has barely set on a garden where yellow flowers are swaying against green leaves in silent hues of golds and oranges. Swirls of mist form and dissipate around them, invisible kisses exchanged by fairies. Above them, black branches frame the horizon until everything disappears into darkness again.
This piece was inspired by a recent conversation I recently had about sunsets with my wife, Amelia. The sunset photograph was taken in Middletown Springs, Vermont, United States, and is titled Contemplating The Pastoral Skyline.
In Another Set Of Chances I’d Take The One’s I’ve Missed | Caught Daylight | There Is A Ceiling In The Darkness | It’s Been Awhile Since I’ve Dreamed This Much | A Little Ghost For The Offering | I’m Going Through Changes