Whenever the Sun sets; whenever the firmament darkens; whenever Night, the daughter of the Abyss, rides upon her chariot, spreading her black wings across the landscape—I feel a chill upon my nape. My hairs stand on end, my heart sinks, and perspiration glistens my forehead.
Why do I fear Night? Why do I tremble in fear before her ghastly countenance? Is it the acosmic absence of light that pervades the earth? Is it her children, her owls, her coyotes, her bats, her spiders, her snakes, her wolves? Is it the grim pallor of the Moon’s countenance? Is it the sepulchral silence in the air? Is it the gossamer mist, which recalls the spirits of the departed? Is it the ever-presence of the devil and the unholy sabbaths of his followers? I answer to all in the negative. It is not ghouls, ghosts, and goblins that trouble my soul. I cower not before things I see and hear. Rather, I shudder with the knowledge that sleep will eventually overcome me.
Ah, sleep, the tail of death, the threshold of Hades, the edge of Chaos. When we sleep, our minds journey forth, journey forth into the unknown, into the void, into the realm of all possibilities,free from the fetters of time and space.
Yet, the body remains, shackled, unmoving. While the mind enjoys the pleasures of Heaven, or suffers from the torments of Gehenna, the body lays corpselike, dead to the world, exposed, unprotected, thinking not, needing not, wanting not. It’s only means of protection is the darkness . . .
And who should manifest from the darkness, from its deepest nadirs, but a presence, a presence seen not by the waking eye. We know not its name and identity, for we choose to dwell in our ignorance, deflecting our terror unto devils and boogeymen. It is the emperor of our fears, the emperor that lays in wait, scouting for a weakness. It lurks like a spider and prowls like a lion. It stands above us, bearing its fangs. Its shadow engulfs our bodies. And we know not it’s there until it attacks . . .
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© 2018 Richard Hamilton