Brook Green at 5.30am 24.09.16

A crow squawks. Yellow streetlamps cast an eery glow over victorian railings and the first fall of leaves. At this time any human encounters are clouded with an air of suspicion – what are they doing in a park at this time? This park is for the day, for civilised walks, friendly encounters between people in blazers, for the rhythms of daily life in an area characterised by red brick arts and crafts homes with ornate lead windows, and here I am scribbling in a notebook surrounded by indiscernible dark forms, beneath vast black sycamores and the light of a pale moon.

I begin to notice the sound of birdsong reverberating above the chimneys and rooftops of the area and a plane coming in to land. Morning is coming. The sounds remind me of instruments being tuned at the start of an opera and carry with them the same sense of excitement and anticipation. The grand stage of life is gradually lit up in violets and pink flushes by the rising sun, and the eternal void and mystery of space gives way to the drama of the morning.

With the full light of day, everything fits back into place. I am no longer a suspicious anomaly. The dark indiscernible void surrounding me regains its form and shape and the resumes its characteristic air of comfortable security and upper middle class grace. It feels happier, more cheerful and familiar. I prefer it. But with the arrival of this familiarity and cheeriness there is nevertheless the loss of something. Although it can be lonely to wander in the dark on the flip side of the familiar and the known, it can also heighten your sense of existence and its mystery.

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