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This is a question The Dark

17,000 writes: Everything bad happens in the dark. Tell us your stories of noises and bumps in the night, power cuts, blindfolds and cinema fumbling.

(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 15:49)
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Egypt, 2009
Last year I was invited to Egypt as a guest of the government and the tourist board and... blah police escorts, military checkpoints, lunatic politicans and far too much drinking. Anywho. Penultimate night. Bedouin camp, 10 miles into the desert. Perfect darkness.

I walked away from the lights, away from the life. Light is safety, warmth and security. I walked until all around me was dark. The only senses I could rely on were touch and sound. For long minutes I walked on, eyes down, letting myself adjust to the stygian blackness, the nothingness.

I've never felt so disembodied or disorientated. I sat on the sand, alone in the desert. Slowly I looked up.

In that moment I saw all the splendour and wonder of the universe. Galaxies, shooting stars, the Milky Way itself. I saw all life and all creation in the sky. I felt that, at that moment, something I've never experienced before or since.

I got up and slowly walked back to the camp in the blinding dark. Shuffling, walking, guessing.

I'll probably never see what I saw that night, the modern world is slowly killing the stars. The light blocks out the dark.

The dark isn't scary.

Sometimes, you have to go into dark places to see the light.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 22:09, 14 replies)
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 22:13, closed)
Of course, the flip side of this is
You go out, on your own, into the desert, get lost and die.
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 22:38, closed)
...You are a pizza smuggling English dude who gets lost in the Australian desert and gets incredibly lucky...
(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 22:54, closed)
I was going to post a very similar experience
I had in Greece on the island of Skopelos. You sum up my feelings nicely though.

*click* for poetic value alone
(, Fri 24 Jul 2009, 3:19, closed)
I have to agree
this happened to me in this country about 20 years ago in Cornwall, I new it could if you aren't near big cities and things but thought there'd still be too much urban-ness even there.

You're right though, it is profoundly lovely first time you see it.
(, Fri 24 Jul 2009, 6:35, closed)
In Morocco this year...
Wandered out of the camp in the desert for a pee, and ended up standing there, head back, for about 15 minutes - truly amazing sight.

Course, I then realised I was standing in a very dark desert, where anything could have been 10 feet away, poised to attack...and I still had my cock out.
(, Fri 24 Jul 2009, 8:43, closed)
India, 1992.
(, Fri 24 Jul 2009, 17:19, closed)
I agree
10 years agoI worked in the Isrealli desert and experienced the same thing every night for nearly 4 months. Looking up at the stars every evening was a fantastic experience.

Did you "experience" a sunset what felt like 2 miles away, yet must have been thousands of miles away? Seeing the whole of sun in it's entirety go behind the earth and the dark slowly creeping in is a sight I will never forget.
(, Fri 24 Jul 2009, 19:04, closed)
I should post drunk and sleep-deprived more often...

Sounds like I'm not the only one to have experienced this.

I wrote about it far better in a magazine somewhere but, well, I'm against copying. Even if it's from me in the past...
(, Fri 24 Jul 2009, 22:21, closed)
^^ Yes if it's this lovely...

Mine was camping when my kids were tiny, I spent hours with my head out of the tent, listening to their breathing and watching the universe.
(, Sat 25 Jul 2009, 13:05, closed)
I likes to paint pictures with words
And not in the ACCII Art sense.

Being that far from civillisation and that close to nature is a wonderful feeling.
(, Sat 25 Jul 2009, 23:23, closed)
It'll be visible for a while yet
Last time I sat back and watched the milky way pass by was in the USA, 2008. Lots of empty space out there - this particular bit was in Arizona, near the Utah/Az/Colorado/NM intersection. No towns for upwards of 50 miles. Fantastic.

Damn fine holiday, drove from Denver to Las Vegas - which we all hated after two weeks of middle-of-nowhereness.
(, Sun 26 Jul 2009, 0:15, closed)
Ive just got back from Central France
I Saw it too. Where we were was so remote, so there was no light polution. Its the first place I have ever seen stars on the horizon.
(, Mon 27 Jul 2009, 13:29, closed)
Beautiful isn't it.
I've been lucky enough to see this several times, in Kenya adn India in particular. You think you can get away from the lights over here but you can't. I've been on a small yacht in the middle of the english channel and the sky is great there at night, but even though you're 40miles from land in any direction you can still see the glow of cherberg on one side and the Isle of White on the other. In kenya we were hundreds of miles from teh nearest street light and the differences was fantastic. Same in India. It's so hard to really get away from it all.
(, Tue 28 Jul 2009, 15:02, closed)

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