We’re living in a world that is perpetually bathed in artificial light. We repel the dark. And yet, we live in the midst of what is often referred to as “dark times”—the realities of environmental crisis, inequality, pandemic, offer the most apparent signs of this. How can we be present and engaged in these dark times? What are we forgoing as we trade the ancient curiosity evoked by the night sky for the ceaseless illumination of artificial light?
Photographer Bear Guerra questions our collective discomfort with darkness, both literally and metaphorically. His photo essay “Dark Skies” invites us to reconsider our fear of the dark and to welcome the night sky as a window into mystery and awe. “Given the myriad ways in which we humans have all but severed our connection to the natural world,” he writes, “perhaps none will prove to be as profound as the loss of the night sky and of our connection to the dark.”
In these times of lockdown and isolation, gazing upon the night sky can connect us to a greater sense of space, beauty, and possibility. We are able to come into a relationship with something infinitely bigger than ourselves.
In five steps, this practice invites you to immerse yourself in nightfall. Whether you live in the city or in a place where the outdoors is more accessible, these practices are a guide for settling into the expansive wonder of the dark.