Dusk Could Be Dawn, Dawn Could Be Dusk
Chase the Changing Light to Lose Time: Installment #4 of The Falling Dream
It has been a long day. The subway station is crowded. Too crowded, actually, because the train is delayed. You opt to leave the station, and just walk — not all the way home, that's too far. But you need to move. Walking is good. To nowhere, in the fading light of the day, is even better. You turn down a street you've never noticed before. There are fewer people, and soon, there is no one except you. A flickering light in front of a basement storefront catches your attention. It's turning on as the daylight edges away. You walk down the steps, which lead you to a small, unnamed bookshop. You turn the rickety knob on the dilapidated door and enter. An old man looks up as if he recognizes you, and then says, "Finally — been waiting for you for a long time. Here's your book."
You do not recognize the man, and have no idea what he's talking about. But you take the book, and even though it's now in your hands, you don't quite know what to do with it. There is no dust jacket, and the lettering on the worn cover has faded and become unreadable. The bookseller is already back to doing whatever it is he was doing before you came in.
You look around the store — old dusty books everywhere, crammed onto mismatched shelves in various stages of collapse, as well as in stacks all over a never-vacuumed floor matted with a long ago decayed carpet. There's barely enough room to maneuver, so you turn and make your exit.
When you are back outside, it's now completely dark. You start walking, and as you do, you open the book. Just as you are flipping the pages to look at the title page, you feel your arm pulled inward, as if it's gripping a pillow, pulling it towards your head, and you realize that that is exactly what you are doing, because you are in your bed, and the first hint of morning light is illuminating your bedroom in a blurred glow. You think momentarily of a book — the title or what it's about is… elusive — then turn yourself to the attention of the day and climb out of bed. The memory of the book quickly fades, but at various points in the future, an image of an old book will come to mind — you will not be able to place it, or remember what it was called or about, and you will occasionally ponder, when the memory drifts in, why you can't recall anything about a mysterious book that keeps finding its way to the forefront of your thoughts.
“Dreams in the Dusk” by Carl Sandburg — Chicago Poems, 1916
A poem of lost dreams at the end of days — how you can get lost in them, and how that will most likely happen in the faltering light at day's end.
Also: a poem about the faltering light at day's end, and how it can guide you to your forgotten dreams.
This is a dark vision of our own dreamlands, of the passing of time through the collapse of the day, where we are met by shadows from the past in the fading light.
It doesn't have to be this way, but it can serve us well, to take this and run with it into the long night. In the early morning, our view will be familiar, but different. Dusk to dawn, dawn to dusk, always chasing the light to escape time.
View Greetings from the Salton Sea by Haruka Sakaguchi.
Check out Letterform Archive.
Read We Are No Longer Babaylan by Elsa Valmidiano.
Visit Left Bank Books.
THANK YOU for subscribing to and reading The Falling Dream newsletter. If you like what you've read, please recommend/forward to a friend or two.
Wander, and keep wandering, in the changing light. Stumble into a place, and upon leaving, realize that the light has changed once more.
— Lauren Maturo and Jeffrey Yamaguchi
Dusk could be dawn dawn could be dusk hinting at the darkness of our own dreamlands A passage of moments collapse the day where we are met by shadows from the fading glint of the past It doesn't have to be this way but it can serve us well always chasing the light to escape the grip of time