As a creative, I tend not to understand the boundaries of time. Creating, painting, writing and making music – this is what happens when Darkness Descends.
In my childhood home, we had little glass panes above the doors throughout our house. If you walked past my bedroom you’d notice on the outside of mine, my mother had taped several layers of black craft board. A very odd sight indeed.
It was however, a necessary evil.
You see, as a creative, I tend not to understand the boundaries of time. I’ve never had that clear cut routine, in which daytime is set aside for work and nighttime is reserved for sleep. For me, the time to create is at the moment when the idea hits me – even if this is at 2 am.
This meant that my mother spent many nights stomping down the passage, half dead from lack of sleep, to alert me it was long passed my bedtime. The trouble was, I had absolutely no desire to sleep. This was prime creativity time. How could she not understand this?
It took years before my mother realised that this pattern was natural for me. However, by the time I was around 15 or 16, she’d given up trying to enforce a regular sleep schedule.
One night, in a desperate attempt to get some sleep herself, she stomped through in her dressing gown, with her scrap booking kit, a roll of duct tape and a ladder, and blacked out my window with craft board.
We never looked back.
This is where I drew my inspiration for Darkness Descends.
For years I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog, but I’ve struggled to find anything noteworthy to write about. Then one night, as I lay wide awake at 2 am (next to my snoring husband who’s blissfully unaware of his wife’s madness), I remembered a poem I wrote as a teenager called Darkness.
Suddenly, in true Lauren style, I was overwhelmed by the urge to get up and go digging in my office to find it.
This poem was what I wanted to blog about.
This poem was – and still is the very essence of me. In two brief stanzas, as an 18 year old, I had unknowingly summed up the very core of who I would grow to be as an adult. Here I was at 2 am, a decade later, scratching through old poems, sketches and photographs on my office floor. And then I found it!
Reading that poem brought on a flood of emotions; the good, the bad and everything in between.
I find myself alone with you,
late at night whilst the world sleeps.
Sometimes I love just being alone,
spending time in your presence reminds me who I am.
Other times I hate your honesty,
you make me realise life’s ugly truths.
It was you who taught me to be this way.
You opened my eyes to my soul.
You are my oldest friend,
but my biggest regret is letting you in.
Now I live for your cold embrace,
because only you understand me.
– Lauren Lokker, 2006
The dead of night has always been my most productive time. Call it creativity, eccentricity or insanity – who knows the true reason for my love of the night. Somehow, while the rest of the world sleeps, I find the pitch black nothingness soothes my frantic mind.
The crisp night air breathes life into me and my work.
I am, by nature, an over thinker. During the day, my thoughts race – lost among the noise of life. But at night, I can finally hear myself think. I can feel myself breathing, my heart beating. I’m alive and present in the moment. I feel confident, fearless in fact – my truest self, able to peel off all the masks; wife, daughter, friend, colleague.
So this is what I plan to write about, not darkness – but what the darkness means. To me, dusk marks my favourite time of day. The time to be 100% me.
Creating, painting, writing and making music – this is what happens when darkness descends.
– Lauren Lokker, 15 March 2017