‘…perhaps all the wisdom, and all the truth, and all the sincerity, are just compressed into that inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold of the invisible.’
From a little kid dusk has always been my favourite time of day. I remember telling mum this when I was round seven and she said that a lot of people didn’t like dusk because it made them think of death. It didn’t make me think of death. It didn’t make me think of anything. That’s the thing; it made me feel. Everything becomes quiet; the light softens, things blur and boundaries disappear. There’s a settling down, an anticipation. Listen up, something big is gunna happen.
Dusk is the moment before EVERYTHING changes. It’s a liminal time, one that divides the visible world from the invisible, the known from the unknown. We’re standing in a threshold where we can view everything, both the light and the dark, the before and after; all is intermingled. All is one. Dusk is a doorway both in space and time, an entrance and an exit where the whole mystery of this world we live in can be glimpsed, if we choose to do so.
And this is how I define horror, the making apparent of what is invisible, the viewing of not just what’s obvious and accepted, what’s always been, what is desired, but the attempt to see the whole. To do such a thing can be very uncomfortable. Not just for the reader but for the writer too. When the hidden comes out there are no rules anymore; taboos are broken, fears are exposed, stability is lost, ALL HELL CAN BREAK LOOSE.
We aren’t fully aware for good reason, it could kill us or send us mad, but in this threshold you are presented with a choice – to consciously recognize reality as more than what is obvious. For me there’s a greater sincerity here, wisdom is gained, but does it really bring us closer to the truth? Regardless of having glimpsed the whole we still end up in our own little worlds. Maybe they’ve stretched a bit, maybe we move a bit different, stand taller or curl over, skip or crawl, but the uncovering cannot allow us to leave permanently where we have settled, the illusion remains, unless we become no longer human.
I suppose that’s why I like writing as a werewolf. Truly anything can be. Not even the laws of physics stand in my way. CREATION IS ULTIMATE FREEDOM
The quotation is from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, a writer who bravely ventured into the horror of being human.
And this is a poem for someone I spent dusk with recently…
Anybody can die. Everybody does.
The evidence of this exists in
bones and sadness and grief.
Few go happily, many go accidentally,
unexpectantly BRUTALLY softly
silently noisily messily,
rarely irradiating joyously-
perhaps there is knowledge
and if lucky love – for your dog
maybe, for people it’s much
more complicated. Guilt and murderous
thoughts lead to the need for oblivion
and painkillers, or just the pain
because then life can be FELT,
and there is no respite –
the Quickest have sweet time
and the unafflicted DO NOT EXIST
regardless of the various worlds
they once lived in.
X marks a kiss and your zenith
is the place you fall from, the depth
of your grave determined by the
height of your fall…
all that exists is a moment,
when you hold on to it it’s gone.