Wednesday, December 2, 2009


"There is light enough for those who wish to see," wrote French philosopher Blaise Pascal, "and darkness enough for those of the opposite disposition."

I'm sitting here in the darkness of my office listening to the darkness of Radiohead, between patients. The windowshade's drawn. I've often wondered why I ended up in optometry, a field which is spent in the dark, when I like the light so much. When I think of professions in the dark, I think photography, which is much more on the creative bent than optometry. I bet most people wouldn't see the darkness in optometry. I do.

Darkness starts to drop down when I'm leaving the clinic at 4:30 or 5:00. It shocked me at first. I had to find out the latitude of Vilseck. Minot was at 48.22°N, Portland 45°31′12″N and Vilseck 49°36'36"N. Auckland was 36°52'S.

It's the furthest from the Equator I've lived. The furthest North. The longest darkness I've experienced and we're not yet to the shortest days. I noticed it a few weeks ago. At first, I found it disturbing- how could the days be this short already? Days are still shortening.

But darkness brings comfort. Peace. Solitude. Reflection.

It's the time of year to embrace the darkness. To see life with a shadowy light and peer out with half-closed eyes.

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