Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Too much light!

Maybe it's the time change and the whole darkness-at-five-thirty-p.m. thing. Maybe it was our recent trip to Tahoe, when I woke up in the middle of the night enveloped in darkness--I couldn't tell whether my eyelids were open or closed--and felt utterly calm. Maybe I've developed some modern-day proto-vampiric ailment, exacerbated by staring at glowing screens for the majority of my waking hours. (God, that's insane.)

At any rate, I seem to have become deeply averse to artificial light, especially the uniform lighting one finds in office buildings and to some extent on our living-room ceiling. (My husband is very fond of this light and thinks it's sun-like, whereas I find it sickening. Light must be a personal thing to some extent.) I posted this TED talk awhile ago about uniform lighting in offices. We're not wired, so to speak, to handle it. We need shadows in the sea of light, and office design should take that into account.

Also there's a street light outside our bedroom window that nothing short of blackout curtains can snuff out. I suppose I could wear one of those masks that you used to see on neurasthenic starlets in the 50s, except that is a recipe for getting my face clawed by a cat in the middle of the night. On a larger scale, light pollution is a huge problem for astronomers, nocturnal animals, crime fighting (really bright lights create darker shadows that are easier to hide in), and, I would argue, life in general. The International Dark Sky Association is doing something about that--and homeowners can, too.

Now, if I can just get through the next four months of standard time...

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