Josna Rege

368. Night

In blogs and blogging, Music, Nature, reflections, Stories, Words & phrases on April 17, 2016 at 8:56 am

422408-night-sky

Blogging from A to Z
  Theme: Bringing Me Joy

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As a girl at boarding school, I loved singing in morning chapel. We often sang hymns welcoming the new day, and our dear headmaster Mr. Murray’s favorite, Lord of All Hopefulness, Lord of All Joy, was one of mine as well. There was one morning hymn, though, whose tune I liked but some of whose words never failed to annoy me. The first verse went:

New every morning is the love
our wakening and uprising prove;
through sleep and darkness safely brought,
restored to life and power and thought.

I supposed it was okay to be thankful that one hadn’t died in one’s sleep, but wondered why the daytime was privileged over the night in this way. Why wasn’t one also considered alive and conscious while sleeping? Later, at university, I made a little study of the waking and sleeping states of consciousness as explored in the Upanishads, and found that, as in modern sleep and dream research, they had considered the sleeping states to be both conscious and necessary, fulfilling essential functions.

I love the night. It’s a peaceful time when the chatter of the world is stilled, and a measure of calm restored. I do not fear darkness or associate it with evil or death. After all, half the day is dark; why on earth should we dismiss half our lives? When the sun sets, a precious peace descends, cloaking the world in darkness. Only in darkness is the night sky illuminated, the heavenly bodies that are invisible by day emerging in all their glory. Also by night, thoughts that are dispelled by day emerge, demanding to be examined and resolved. These processes are carried out in blessèd sleep, balm of hurt minds. . .that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care, as Shakespeare put it in Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2.

For good measure, I leave you with a handful of songs celebrating the night.

Night Shift (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
Whatever Gets You Through the Night (John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band)
Because the Night (Patti Smith Group)
In the Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)
All Through the Night (Welsh Folk Song, Ar hyd y nos)

Night-time brings me joy.

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

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  1. I like night in the country, at the beach – where it gets dark enough to see the stars and where I can walk around and enjoy the night. Driving through the night is nice. I don’t walk around in the dark in my neighborhood though and that’s too bad.

    • Yes .. I didn’t acknowledge that, sadly, our fear of the night is sometimes justified. It is so lovely strolling in the dark of a summer’s evening.

  2. Love your “Ode to the Night”. . In the desert, on the mountains and on the water, The sky trumpets the magnificence of the universe. In the city the night guards the secrets and mischief of the nocturnal prowlers making one wonder what dramas may be unfolding.The Night is magic and keeps me awake far longer than I should be but if I sleep what will I miss??.

    • “…the sky trumpets the magnificence of the universe”: beautiful. Yes, I have only to close my eyes to see the magnificence of the night sky in the Gila Wilderness in southern New Mexico. How sad that we can now experience that grandeur in so few places.
      Keeping awake is one of Doris Lessing’s themes: well-meaning parents continually try to get their children to sleep, whilst the children struggle to stay awake, something would all do well to emulate. Thank you, Asghar.

  3. Well expressed Josna, and I so agree with you! 🙂

    • Thank you, Linda. I bet there are some beautiful night skies to be seen in Australia. Not that I know–only the nighttime desert scene in Nicholas Roes’s film, Walkabout, is unforgettable.

  4. […] 28. Tell Me Another. (2016)/ Retrieved from https://josna.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/368-night/ […]

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