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Dark nights hold a magical attraction. Dark winter nights, especially. Primeval powers swirling around me, luring me, drawing me into their grasp, removing the scales from my eyes to reveal the inner vortexes of the night universe, of my connections with the divine. Smelling the brine of the ocean in Long Island Sound at low tide, the aromas were even more sweet in the blackened panorama when competing visual inputs are absent.
And sounds! Oh My Dear Sweet God, what sounds I hear when I cannot see! A thousand sounds and non-sounds swirling together. From sources I feel but I cannot see. From those vortexes that are the winds and the air in their gray and black relentless journey between the now and the next dimension. Sounds from my lover who is the ocean, reaching out to the sea and beyond to the galaxies. She who quietly moans and breathes and sways and undulates until I cannot tell what motion is sound and what is movement. And they embrace me and swallow me, and I am one with what is all around me. And my cheeks and all exposed areas feel the suction from the vortexes, and my clothed parts yearn to be free of the clothes and to be drawn naked up into the vortex lover of the dark night ocean.
I felt this magic as a child, notably on those Monday night walks across the Third Avenue Bridge to Boy Scouts with my brother and my friends in Warren PA. And my awe of the night magic didn’t diminish as I grew older, but I opened myself up to it less often, so I felt it less frequently. My life got busier. My time in the night magic became that thirty or ninety seconds when I walked the trash out to the curb and paused to look at the night sky and to sip the magic air for a few seconds before scampering back inside to the bustling family environs, or as I walked from the front door to the enclosed space that was the car in the driveway to drive and pick up the children from their Scout meetings, more controlled and disciplined now, with their “Two Deep Leadership”, than mine had ever been. The night magic was a brief escape from the human definition and busyness and my spirit would remember vaguely the awe that existed, the magic in the night, but I didn’t experience again that full-spirit communion with the night magic for many years until that night in January with my new lover and future wife, standing on Silver Sands Beach and gazing at the panorama in shades of black, out toward Charles Island. It wasn’t really gazing, it was more like a full-body sensing of the panorama with our eyes wide open.
The growing-up memories had been filed long ago, way down below in my subconscious, weighed down with the everyday tribulations and tasks, until that night in 2002. That very cold night in 2002 when every air molecule was sterile, cold and quiet.
Katerina and I had taken up a pattern of walking together at night that winter. Exploring each other’s thoughts and memories as we walked aimlessly up one street and down another, never with a destination, always with the thrill of exploration. One night one neighborhood, the next night in another. It was never cold when I walked with her, regardless of the thermometer; and everyone else in the world seems to have been spirited away, leaving us as the only inhabitants. During those purposeless walks, the magic of the night revealed herself to me again, after all these years.
We freely talked non-stop about everything. One thought gliding effortlessly to the next unrelated topic.
“Did you see that waitress bending over at the restaurant? You could see her G-string!”
“We call that ‘butt-floss’”.
“And her butterfly tattoo.”
“I saw that!”
“I saw you looking at that butterfly.”
“Tell me about your mother and father.”
“What was your high school like?”
“Do you remember the first guy you fell in love with?”
“The first one you kissed?”
“Where was that?”
“Did you like it?”
“Do you remember the first time a boy put his hand where it didn’t belong? What did you think?”
“Who was your best friend in High School?”
“Where is she now?”
“What was the worst trouble you ever got into when you were young?”
“Did you smoke in the bathroom at school?”
“Who was your first lover?”
“Tell me about being a single mother all those years?”
“Did you worry about the guys you dated being around your daughter?”
And then, in mid-question, I looked around and realized that we were at Silver Sands Beach. One deserted street had turned into another on that arctic winter’s night, as we had walked under the crystal stars, absorbed in every thought the other one had. Warmed and overheated by the hormones flowing like lava throughout our bodies. And then, just like that, we were at the end of the sidewalk, the gray snow-covered dunes ahead, accentuated by the blackness of the ocean beyond it. Without stopping, without speaking, we walked through the snow, drawn into the blackness; and the streetlights and houses with their glowing dollhouse windows retreated behind us, giving us up to the uncivilized, the unexplained, the magical dark night. Our chatter slowed down as we were pulled into the void ahead. Like an emotional black hole, all thought-matter was sucked into it, and a universal peace replaced the quick banter of a few minutes before.
The wide and dark blackness pulled us toward its center, which we realized, and probably would have acknowledged if we had let any thoughts enter our minds, that the center of the blackness was Charles Island. In fact, when civilization’s lights were well behind us, we made two discoveries: there were many shades of black out here; and the shades of black were all in motion.
We held mittened hands, and the electricity fused our souls like a penny in the fuse box.
The tractor beam of the event horizon pulling us onward was stronger now, the shades of black more pronounced, as we approached the edge of the sand where the small lapping wavelets had washed away the snow along the edge and the tide was advancing onto the snow-covered sand. The frozen night ocean sounds, on one of those crisp, still nights when the winter winds had left and where man’s civilized sounds did not venture out, and if any man-sounds had been there, we never would have heard the sounds of the water, just like, if a street light were there on the beach, we never would have seen the shades of black.
The force pulled us to the water’s edge, shuffling as we did in our snow boots through the shin-high loose snow, and then turned us and guided us down the beach for a hundred yards to where the land extended toward the island. At low tide this spit of land became an entirely exposed sand bar to the island, fully a mile away. But now it was a spit, a few meters wide and extending twenty meters toward the island before the water claimed its dominion over the path.
The water moved in circular motions, counter-clockwise. The cloudy skies above and on all sides were also moving, left to right. And our bodies moved, every muscle and every organ, responding to the tidal pulls.
The brightest shade of black was the light gray of the snow at our feet, extending to the end of the spit, a few meters away, as we inched along it and it narrowed, the snow-cleared edges coming to a point, the pull being undeniable and irresistible. The light gray point of the spit was aiming directly across the undulating, circling, slush-water towards Charles Island. The next shade was the slightly darker pale black that was the cold slushy frozen water on either side of the spit beneath our boots. This almost-ice extended halfway out toward the island, unbelievably not yet cold enough to freeze the ocean water solid. And because it was not frozen solid, it was free to move, which it did. In a grand, barely perceptible, circular motion on our left, that I defocused and strained my eyes to see. The perimeter of the circular ice movement seemed to be only fifty meters or so down the shore. The movement was counter-clockwise. And the speed I determined from concentrating and refreshing my eyes every few seconds with blinking, appeared to be about a meter every five seconds.
There was another movement superimposed underneath of the circular frozen motion on my left. This was a feral womanly undulation beneath the slush. I can only describe it like that, because I have never seen this type of wavelike movement except in a naked lover beside me who has entered her private world of pleasure. An under-ice swell would move through, raising the ice skin and then gently lowering it, as with a sigh. And across this area, there were other similar surges and the shades of light black on this surface changed with the movement of the swells, until it became the reflections of light on the sweat on her body.
I could hear the throaty moans from the water, too. Raspy, whispering, all the sounds in the spectrum in one, slowed to a geologic speed. And hand-in-hand, Katrina and I inched closer to the tip of the spit. Now my attention was drawn to the right side, as the frozen sea’s circular motion ended at the spit. As I strained to recognize shapes through the darkness on the right, I realized that the frozen slush on that right side was moving in a circular direction also, but in the opposite direction, driven by a different current, and separated by the now-submerged sand bar. And the frozen, pale black slush directly ahead, where the two hemispheres joined, was oddly still. My attention followed the still water straight out, to the blackest of black water, and finally, to the island.
Charles Island was ringed with the pale black of the snow on the beach, looking like the far away shoulders of an altar boy from my early years. Then, rising up from its beach, the stand of tall trees absorbed any reflected light and became the epicenter of the blackness that was pulling us. And around it, and in the air between it and us, were the occasional leftover light black, large flakes, there, but unnoticed.
It was then, in that frozen world, for the first time, that a faint but startling epiphany first entered the periphery of my consciousness.
The snow white silk runner under our feet, the godhead in its full black majesty ahead of us, and the whispering friends and relatives on either side, here to celebrate with us, pointing and whispering to each other about what a lovely couple we were. Electricity in the ions around us and the atoms within us. Once we had recognized the spiritual force in each of those components of that magnificent orchestra, we grasped our hands more tightly and walked down the snowy spit of land as one, letting the music from the magical winter night fuse our souls into one. And even years later, that night of magic remains branded into my memory. The Night magic walks and a date that showed me I can date again.
by William Kenly
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Originally posted 2013-09-24 12:39:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter