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The Beauty of Darkness

For an assignment on Beauty We Experience in the Moment, I posted a picture of a lone slug.

I wrote the caption, Slowlaning it Home because the slug looked like it was headed for the drain, its home. Apart from projecting my eternal obsession of going home onto the slug, I found beauty in the snail’s simplicity and its natural intelligence for navigation. It turns out that the slime we often see as gross has a real purpose as it becomes a map that the snail can use to retrace its tracks – to go on a journey or find its way back home.

My slowlaning slug got zero likes but that didn’t alter my perception of its beauty. Experiencing beauty in the moment is real, practical and helpful while recalling beauty from the past requires a sprinkle of fiction, perhaps even a romantic distortion of things we no longer actually see. But that, I think is the beauty of darkness firefly photographer Radim Schreiber talks about when he talks about the fireflies he photographs. Could it be that beauty becomes beauty only when the beholder lets it overcome them?

Fireflies are found in the summer months so for those of us in the northern hemisphere we have only to recall them from the past. But in the UK this weekend, Saturday the 5th of October is Guy Fawkes, a night for fireworks and bonfires. Wishing everyone the beauty of darkness this autumn weekend.

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