I IMAGINE A NEGATIVE WORLD, in which the Sun casts, not light, but darkness. Shadows are bright. Dimmed only by the stars, night-time is not a time for sleeping. Darkness in this land is not the absence of light, but a positive presence. The Sun a dot of impenetrable black in a field of dark grey; a searchlight a beam of shade, obscuring everything in its path. The Moon not merely a circle of darkness, but a mirror of darkness, contributing to the general gloom. The bottom of a coal mine unbearably brilliant, but without heat.
What immense confusion I might create with an ordinary box of matches, or a flashlight. In turn, I imagine the inhabitant of such a world bringing a flashdark into my world, and the wonderment that would greet his portable sable cone; the instant dimming of a room by striking a match. How long would it take the average person to adapt to a world where black was white, and white was black? Not long, I'll bet.
March 9, 1994
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