I took this image at an event I shot near home. It was a super party, with lots of fun, laughter, banter and excitement. I’d stepped outside for a few moments, partly just to get a breath of air, and partly to see whether there were any interesting pictures to be had from this different perspective. The person who was assisting me spotted this scene, and I like it as I think it captures both the calm of the night-time exterior, and the inviting warmth of the interior space.
I’ve said before that the images I like often give a different perspective on something familiar, and I guess this is no exception. Forcing me to step from a bright warm environment into the darkness, it set me thinking about some words of the writer Rainer Maria Rilke. As a poet, he used language to cast a different perspective on the familiar, and had a strong affinity with darkness, once writing:
“You darkness that I come from, I love you more than all the fires that fence in the world.”
For Rilke, the darkness was not a sinister, threatening place. It was somewhere to let go of the cares of day-to-day existence, be at peace, reflect on life and connect with the things that really matter to you. Away from the hubbub and busy-ness of life – the fires and lights – there is space in darkness to relax and just “be”.
We can learn a lot from the dark times in our lives – times when we are alone, perhaps when things seem bleak or when we feel isolated. That’s not to say we should live out our lives there – there’s plenty to be learned from the blazing lights of a good party too! But perhaps the lessons we learn there are slightly different, and make us more rounded, more whole.
So next time you are at an evening party, step away for a few moments, brave the darkness, and just see what you notice.