Pavor Nocturnus: Night Time Fears

To be alone in the quiet of night is the best time to be a writer. For others though, it’s better to be dead, or perhaps unconscious.

“The full moon on the night sky at Tipton, England” by Jason Darrell on Unsplash

To be alone in the quiet of night is the best time to be a writer. For others though, it’s better to be dead, or perhaps unconscious.

It’s late here.

Everyone is in bed, asleep I’m assuming because all I can hear above the tip tapping of the keys on my Mac as I type is the hum of the fridge at the other end of the house.

If I pay attention I can hear the air pass through the vent holes in the cast iron inset fire we had installed last week.

The fire inside it is fading now.

Continuing to listen I can hear the light hum of the fan on my Mac. Parallel to that is the light, almost inaudible buzz of what seems to be a multitude of familiar frequencies that I can hear when everything around me is silent.

I asked my wife once if she could hear it. She told me I needed to see a doctor then turned over and went to sleep.

The dog is breathing heavy by the back door. At least she seems to be given that the house is so quiet.

Late at night and early in the morning when nobody is around are times I like the best.

I enjoy being in my own company more that I enjoy the company of others. I prefer to be alone as much as possible. Some of my family think there’s something wrong when they see me choose my own company over them.

I’m unsociable you see.

The truth is I don’t enjoy groups of people. Principally because the conversation always tends to be trivial and quite frankly unstimulating. When in a group I’ll always try to gravitate to someone who might afford me some stimulating conversation.

I really don’t enjoy crowds either, especially big crowds at games and public events. Crowds of people behave like complete brain donors. Crowd mentality is dangerous too, often to themselves because of their herd-of-cattle-like behaviour.

Crowds drive me crazy.

I’m not fearful in crowds. It’s not that I feel exposed or anything like that.

It’s simply that people become part of the crowd. Individuality is lost.

I think on reflection here, now as I consider it, it seems to me that I am resentful of the performance, that I may have to partake in the performance.

People I notice exercise very little in terms of self awareness or control when in groups. There’s a collective psyche in the group or crowd that many people are completely taken over by. And as such, behave very differently than they would one to one.

Well, I suppose who doesn’t.

I am never the same thing in every circumstance either.

I change like the wind.

And that’s the way it should be, because who we are is dependant very much on who we are with. Our company influences the version of us that we bring to the party so to speak.

So therefore the challenge is to maintain the most genuine self as possible at all times. But that takes effort.

This is why I prefer being alone. I get to be in observation of the most genuine version of me that I can be.

When I am totally quiet I almost cease to exist.

That is the ultimate peace. It must be very close to what we would call death.

At night and early in the morning there are no people to influence who I am. That’s why I like these moments.

I wonder who I would be if I had no people to deal with, to influence my behaviour and state of mind?

I’d likely run out of material. Well, I couldn’t have that!

So therefore, to be in the mix of it all is the way it should be.

They Can’t Sit Still

I know people who can’t sit still. I know others who keep talking and never shut up.

To be with their own self in the quiet of their own company it seems would be a fate worse than death to these people.

Some of these people are very close to me.

I think it’s important in forming a stable and peaceful mind to embrace the solitude. It’s an aspect that I touch on in The Artist’s Manifesto.

For a creative person to avoid the quiet space is for them to avoid the creative inspiration. I think most artists learn to embrace the solitude.

The people of the noisy world, who are it must be said, in the majority, like to suggest to to you and I that to like our own company above the company of others is less than advantageous.

Some have told me in the past that I am antisocial.

So be it.

I’m antisocial then.

They make the rules that govern the machine, and subsequently try to convince you and I that we must conform. Eventually even the makers of the rules, and their followers, realise that the rules are fucked.

It’s the creative mind that knows the truth.

The artist knows the truth.

And even if the artist doesn’t fully know it, they are a damn sight closer to it that the rest of the world.

So, I’ll take the quiet thanks very much.

How about you?

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I’m Larry G. Maguire, writer and artist from Dublin, Ireland. I write Sunday Letters weekly for my growing readership. You can join them here. I’m working on a non fiction work called The Artist’s Manifesto, due out May 2018. I’m also working on a YA Mythological Fantasy based in Ireland.

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