While in Iceland, I didn’t see night. There were warm, colorful sunsets but it didn’t ever actually get dark. Somewhat surprisingly I enjoyed this. It’s not yet full summer there so the sky will get brighter as June progresses. It’ll do so without me.
Back in Florida now, that long Icelandic twilight has reignited my appreciation for darkness — cricket-soundscaped, wind-pushed-clouds darkness. The planets look too bright to be planets, the stars too bright to be stars. This because the backdrop is midnight blue. It makes it easier to understand why some in the past thought stars were pinpricks.
Understanding, I find, is too often complicated. But what may seem backwards or alien aligns with it after a shift in perspective. This is why some people read stories—to temporarily live a life not their own. I can’t say the intention is always to understand others, but it’s possibile to and in possibility lies, well, everything.
P.S. Pamela Sargent once said that speculative fiction is “the literature of ideas.” It’s also a realm of infinite possibilities. Some are explored one person at a time; others on the scale of totality.
When I build a world it’s to explore the possibilities for improving this one, to show what’s precious or what I think should be plain. But sometimes it’s just for beauty. One can never have too much (especially these days) and it makes it easier to share. Like now: