Sunday, December 30, 2007

Being Afraid of the Dark

The title of this post is a little deceiving, since I think it might give you the impression that I am afraid of the dark, but I am not. In fact, I quite like the dark. I like sitting in the dark by myself - not sleeping or thinking really, but just being alone in the dark. I also like going on walks by myself at night in the dark. I know, I know, right now many or you are planning on clicking the little button at the bottom of this post and leaving me a cautionary comment about doing that - but you can stop. I know the danger and I have heard all the warnings, but I still love the dark.

The main reason for this post is that I have seen many movies recently, and in the past, that seem to encourage this sort of unprecedented fear of the dark. I saw the movie "30 Days of Night" and I liked it a lot. I liked for one that it didn't encourage the whole vampires are beautiful mentality that our culture is heading towards. In fact, after seeing the vampires in that movie, I don't think anyone would really WANT to become a vampire. But it still seems to be a cautionary tale of being in the dark ... at all ... ever. And another recent movie I saw was "I Am Legend" - which I thought was great. But still, the 'zombies' (for lack of a better word) only really seem to come out at night, and during the daylight hours they hang out in the dark.

All this leads me to wonder why, as humans, we are so afraid of the dark. I know that we can't see in the dark so that adds a little bit of unknown to many situations. But still, I don't think it is the dark we should be afraid of as much as what people (and other creatures) do in the dark. And mostly what they are willing to do because it is dark.

I guess being from a small town where everyone knows everyone and if you get in trouble your parents know before you get home made me feel safe in the dark. There were many times when my best friend, at the end of the night, would say, "'Oh, I have to walk her halfway home because she can't walk by herself in the dark." (As a side note here I will add that we lived maybe three blocks from each other.) But that was more so we could get more time together, and not really because either of us were afraid of the dark. But even now when I go home, and it is not too cold, I relish being able to go on a long walk in the dark by myself out to the stop-sign and back where there are almost no street lights and the view of the stars is amazing. So I maintain that it is healthy for me not to be afraid of the dark. I am still careful, especially when I am not at home in my town of 250 people but am instead in my current residential town of about 40,000, but that doesn't mean I don't do it. I am just smarter about it. In fact, I think I will go for a walk right now.

No comments: