A Midwinter Night’s Dream

It’s the kind of eerie darkness outside that smacks of alternate realities. The true night sky is pitch black. Stars are scarce and the moon nothing more than a slender curve. I know intuitively that it should be blindingly dark outside and yet it’s not. Clouds carry spare rays of sunlight from somewhere far to the west, casting a dismal glow over the snow and trees. It’s not enough, though. I want to see better than I can. My mind is playing tricks on me. My eyes see the light from the gray clouds, but my brain processes only the deep ebony of a moonless night. I feel as though I am in another place, far away from anywhere I’ve ever been. Night isn’t night but isn’t day. It isn’t cold but the air pierces my lungs. I am exhausted but in the darkness-non-darkness I am alert and I feel alive. It is meditative, it is ethereal. I’m somewhere in limbo, in the purgatory of winter nights.

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