Glum crepusculum and other twilight zones

Twilight, or the crepuscular hours, can be beautiful.  The twilight of a warm summer’s evening,  the twilight of a desert dawn, or the brief twilight following a tropical sunset, are especial favourites with me.  But twilight that starts around eight in the morning, before a sunrise that barely happens, and  then  seems to go on for the entire day, as it did today, is altogether a case of glum crepusculum.  Today was the fourth day of winter; assuming that winter’s official start was 1st June. It was wet, dreary, cold, grey and sunless.  I am already over winter.  And it’s only just begun.

What to do?  Glumness is too dull to bear. Well,  I made a hearty, spicy lentil soup!  That was a bit cheering. But not quite cheering enough. So I made a golden, creamy custard which we ate for afternoon tea with homemade apple sauce and whipped cream.  Not my usual ‘cuppa’ for  afternoon sustenance but I figured that, if I was living in a twilight zone, a dessert, in place of tea, was neither here nor there. And it was delicious. One helping wasn’t enough. We had seconds.

Then what? Having fed my body, I decided to feed my mind, which is when I googled  ‘twilight’. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepuscular  and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight).  And I discovered that cats  exhibit crepuscular behaviour which explains that cat you always see sitting at the gate, watching the world go by, shortly after sunset. That crepuscular activity is vespertine  which I think is a lovely, languid, slinky word that perfectly describes  that cat that sits and waits as the evening draws in.

Back in the realm of the ‘twilight zone’, I was amused to learn that another meaning for twilight zone is an “area of a city or town, usually surrounding the central business district, where houses have become dilapidated’.  That meaning  aptly describes  the state of the centre of our city,  post earthquakes.

But glum and gloomy as the day was, I have to admit the obvious, which is  that twilight is never completely dark; it cannot be, because in every twilight there are always degrees of light. That is the essence of twilight. So to lighten the mood, and feed the soul, here are some photos.

The first series features my beloved Tibetan carpets. They are a riot of colour and joy and light up my life every time my eyes alight on them. And strange to think that such vibrancy came from the hands and hearts of Tibetan refugees, who had moved from one twilight zone to live in another in their temporary home in Nepal.

The big picture:In full lightThese second photos were taken last week  to celebrate the birthday and enlightenment of The Buddha.

Now, as I end this post,  the true dark of night is here, and we again await the next twilight hour.  It  will be a matutinal twilight and, perhaps, will hold the  promise  of sunlight.Brilliance© silkannthreades

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67 thoughts on “Glum crepusculum and other twilight zones

  1. gpcox

    What a bright new outlook about ‘twilight’. We’ve been having rather gloomy days the past two weeks and this post gave me a smile. Thanks.

    Reply
  2. lensandpensbysally

    Sometimes our minds take a circular route or zigzag to approach a destination. You had an interesting journey, which led you to exactly where you needed to be.

    Reply
  3. aleafinspringtime

    Oh the rich and vibrant textures of your Tibetan carpet was such a contrast to the day of twilight you were describing! The sudden lift and feast to the eyes to see such fine work and the lives and hands who brought it to life. I learnt about crepuscular and verspertine from here and also the existence of medlars. I shall be back to learn more. In the meantime could we have the recipe and photos of the spicy lentil soup and the creamy yummy custard? 😀 Many hugs from the other end of the world. Sharon

    Reply
  4. Marylin Warner

    These are stunning carpet pictures. Absolutely beautiful.
    We have a friend who once collected Navajo rugs. They were coarse, tough, and woven with rich symbols of the weavers’ lives and the tribes’ themes. There’s much meaning in rugs.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am so glad you think they are beautiful. Rugs do have such rich meanings and I am a little sad that I don’t know much about the symbolism in mine.

      Reply
  5. teamgloria

    ooooo, this was lovely.

    crepuscular and twilight and strange and mysterious felines.

    it’s June Gloom here in L.A – a strange grey-light.

    happy we came to visit you.

    Reply
  6. ordinarygood

    I love your Tibetan rugs. Your post offered me much and the comments have added more.
    I learnt about crepuscular rays recently from a fellow blogger. Now I know even more about that unusual word in its different forms/uses.

    Reply
  7. Tracy Rhynas

    What delicious patterns and colour combinations on your rugs. Crepusculum sounds like something that happens to a wound when it gets infected or something like that…..sounds positively unsavoury!

    Reply
  8. Mrs. P

    Also, one thing I really enjoy about the twilight time is when my four o’clocks are blooming. It’s so nice to see them spread their bloom when the rest of the garden folds theirs, saving them until the next day.

    Reply
      1. Mrs. P

        Here is what they look like.

        This image is a mix of the various colors they come in. They self sow year after year and bloom most of the spring and partly through summer. I have yellow and hot pink varieties.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          They look gorgeous. And, as you say, so nice to have something sweet and blooming in the garden in the late afternoon.

  9. Mrs. P

    Beautiful carpets! I have never seen a Tibetan carpet before…vibrant colors. I also enjoyed your pictures from last week, which I missed…so glad you included them again.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The carpets are a source of great fascination to me. Tibetan in design and production but the wool actually came from New Zealand. So in a way they have come home 🙂 The dyes are natural ones but I am not sure of their source.

      Reply
  10. cindy knoke

    Isn’t crepuscular a strange word. It doesn’t sound like what it means. These carpets ate just absolutely gorgeous and this post is fascinating. Bravo~

    Reply
  11. utesmile

    What a wonderful carpet. In your summer we see your lovely garden, and in winter we see your lovely indoor garden! and very interesting facts. …and then mentioning the custard and whipped cream… hmmmmm, I love your posts, something for the eye, something for the tummy and something for the mind! You are wonderful!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, dear Ute. Some days need attention from all angles to drag them away from gloom. Today the sun is shining and there is fresh snow on the mountains. Outside looks wonderful.

      Reply
  12. Clanmother

    “Laughter is day, and sobriety is night; a smile is the twilight that hovers gently between both, more bewitching than either.”
    Henry Ward Beecher

    We Canadians are just coming into our summer months! It has been a rainy winter, but the flowers have rewarded our patience! Believe it or not, Edmonton, Alberta where my brothers live had a deluge of snow this past year. They had snow in April! Aghhhh….

    Reply
      1. Clanmother

        We are a resolute breed. You should see the Canadians on the beaches in mid February when they go places that have son. Mostly have red sunburns….

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It’s wonderful how much we can learn from the internet. I also read that dogs are naturally crepuscular. I have not noticed this with my dog but I think household dogs adapt better than cats to our human habits/routines.

      Reply
  13. Letizia

    I love the photos of your carpets too (as well as the ones of the celebration of the Buddha’s birthday and enlightenment). It’s so important to surround ourselves by things that inspire us, especially in the darker days of winter – you obviously know this! Beautiful, poetic post.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am glad you enjoyed my attempts to brighten the day. In the Celtic tradition, and maybe in other traditions too, winter is a time to take care of the body and soul after the rigours of the summer and the harvest. Light and warmth come from the fire and the stories and songs that are told by those gathered around the hearth. In a modern house, I don’t have a fire/hearth so maybe my rugs and beautiful things can compensate for that firelight/sunlight 🙂

      Reply
  14. Forest So Green

    Do you have any indoor garden parks? For me, it is great to see flowers in the summer. I also like your colorful rugs 🙂 Annie

    Reply
  15. Katherine's Daughter

    I am not a fan of winter either. Once Christmas is over I am ready for spring!
    I hope some summer posts from USA (mine included) will be a bright spot for you.
    I love the Tibetan carpet!
    Blessings, Joanne

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, I do enjoy reading the summer posts, so keep them coming. Some bring back memories of my few summers on the East Coast. Pleased you share my joy in the Tibetan carpet.

      Reply
  16. Virginia Duran

    Hummm… just read more about the crepuscular activity in cats. It is the last thing I would have imagined. These are very curious facts! Also, I didn’t know the architectural terms of the word. Very interesting post, as always!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your encouraging words. It’s lovely how there is always so much to know. I don’t think I would make a good cat; I love lots of light and sunshine 🙂

      Reply
  17. mmmarzipan

    Fascinating about “crepuscular activity” in cats! I’d never even heard the term before! Always learning new things when I visit your blog 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, it was fun to discover that cats are crepuscular creatures. I have always wondered why they were always out watching the world go by just as it was getting dark. Now I know!

      Reply

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