In one of those coincidences that life throws at you, after posting yesterday about my fascination with the sky and the evening light, when I was in the car today I happened to catch a little of a broadcast on Radio National which addressed that theme. I looked it up later and it was a talk given by Michael Taussig at Monash University as part of a series called Thinking Through Colour and Light.
From the Radio National web site:
“In When the Sun Goes Down Michael Taussig reflects on the idea that this is when the rational world goes to bed and mythology surfaces. In beautiful sunsets we see deepening shadows of despair, and maybe this is why they are beautiful. This is the beginning of twilight, the witching hour when light transforms itself and makes other worlds possible”
What caught my attention, apart from the coincidence, was when Micheal Taussig mentioned Proust; his obsession with sleep and how the liminal state between sleep and waking echoed that sunset time. Both are threshold times, moments between two worlds.
This struck a chord, almost literally. A deep resonance inside that alerted me to the truth of this.
Photographers, cinematographers and artists call this time between day and night ‘the magic hour’ because of the quality of the light. Everything seems more beautiful, more luminous and ethereal.
Some people find this a melancholy or eerie time, when all sorts of spirits or imps are about, the children are tetchy and things can go wrong. The witching hour.
And that feeling when you are falling asleep, or coming into wakefulness, it’s the same. It feels like a portal, the way between the known and the unknown.
Next time, I’ll post about shoes, I promise.