Saturday, June 28, 2008

Because the Night

This is what 1:47 a.m. looks like in late June in Oulu, Finland, when, finally, it isn't raining:

And this is 1:03 a.m.:
And here is one more tiny bit of evidence that fear and loathing of feminism is universal (we think, though, of course, we couldn't actually read the article in the magazine, it being in Finnish and all):
(Photo Credits: Moose, though Goose threatened to take her wine away if she didn't get up off her duff and take the sunset shots.)

This brief post was inspired by the bright young Digital Museologist who said over dinner, "I miss the night." The moms know just what she means. The endless evenings of the near-Arctic summer are surreal and beautiful, but they are jarring, too. Time is impossible to judge, which partly explains why the moms slept past 11 a.m. yesterday. You realize in a place like this how much your sense of time depends upon the shifting of the light, the movement into darkness. Without it, dinners (happily!) go on and on, and energies that usually flag with the fading of the light get revved back up -- and so you find yourself strolling the streets of an unfamiliar city at nearly midnight taking silly photographs and laughing with strangers. You have a nightcap, but the night still hasn't come, and your body still doesn't feel ready for rest. You close the curtains to shut out the twilight, but you sense its presence anyway. Even in sleep, it hovers on the edges of consciousness. You miss the night, because without it you cannot recognize the day.

Dickinson wrote, "I see thee better -- in the Dark." I bet she would have missed the night, too.

(With pride in and affection for the Digital Terps who made the journey and performed so well. See y'all back in the 'hood soon.)


  1. Anonymous11:38 AM EDT

    Sounds like Roxie's moms need some sleep masks! Even without the midnight sun, I can't get through the night without one (all to the endless amusement of the BF who thinks it's ridiculous; but a good night's sleep will always trump high fashion in MY book).

  2. A surefire cure for the midnight sun: Xanax, and lots of it! Better living through chemistry, don'tcha know!

  3. Anonymous12:19 PM EDT

    Our Chaplin here at Tusculum College just went to Helsinki to deliver a lecture, I wonder if you're at the same one. His name is Stephen Weisz, and he is a very cool guy, for a Chaplin that is

  4. Nope -- the moms' conference was out in Oulu, and they didn't see any chaplains -- although the entertainment at the conference banquet was an Elvis impersonator singing, swear to dog, in LATIN! You really had to be there. . . .

  5. Anonymous10:45 PM EDT

    Candy Man: a sleep mask? But, whatever works, I always say. I'm with you that a good night's sleep is the best revenge--and why not do it while looking like Norma Desmond?

    Cheers to you and the BF, by the way. Tell him he's missing a hell of a rodeo this year!


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