A man ponders the darkness.
|I can see no deep azure sky. No billowing mounds of white drifting overhead. No flaming yellow sun to warm my face and nurture the landscape. I see none of the many shades of green splayed across the trees and shrubs and grass. Nor do I see the telltale splotches of gold and blue and orange that decorate the bees and butterflies in the garden. No lovely purples of coneflowers and gayfeathers and lobelias. None of the rainbow palette of a summer day. And this being the time of a new moon, I see no creamy crescent staring down at me. This is the true color of the night.
It's as if there is no color at all. I can't call it black, because I have no other hue for comparison. I look all around me, yet I see nothing. If I close my eyes, I see more than when they are open, because when my eyes are closed I can imagine all the colors my mind has stored over a lifetime. But when I open them again, it's almost as if I have no eyes, and no memory of color.
I think of ancient times, when humans understood nothing about the huge ball of orange above them, and why it went away only to reappear several hours later. And what was the smaller, whitish orb that often traversed the sky at night, or the thousands of smaller objects that filled the blackness overhead? It's no surprise that these people conjured up gods to explain such mysteries.
I'm certainly more informed than the ancients, and I'd like to think that I'm more sensible about the phenomena around us. But I can't help but feel a certain level of fear on a moonless night. Who or what might be standing right next to me? If I take a step forward, will I plunge into an abyss? And if so, what horror awaits at the bottom? I stand here, frozen amid the vast unknown of a blank universe. I would rather be anyplace but here. But I must be brave. And as I inch forward, oh so slowly, I can only hope that I'm going in the right direction. One short shuffle, then another, then – “Ow.” Damn it. I tripped over the trash can again.