Letter to the Editor: Glory of a Black Night

Celebrating your news in the Pulse that Newport State Park has been designated as the first “Dark Sky Park” in Wisconsin. A wonderful honor and way to call attention to the glory of a black night.

Remembering as I read, a very special evening at Newport Park circa 1999? 2000? when the Ranger invited Norbert Blei to give a reading in the park. Seated on a bench with Lake Michigan as his background, he’d chosen a number of essays published in Meditations on a Small Lake – one of the finest being “In Praise of Country Darkness.”

In this essay Norb notes how we “… move through the night with a desire to redeem (our) own creatureness. Night sharpens our senses.” The essay goes on to rage against the proliferation of those who move to the country and immediately install mercury vapor lights and other horrifications of all they supposedly moved away from.

I sat near him and watched the face of new neighbors, wondering what their reaction would be, for I knew the content of the essay he’d begun. They had recently moved in and installed a yard light. Norb didn’t blink as he read the chosen work, nor stumble when he came to passages that might cause discomfort. Neither did they, though I never saw them attend another of his readings. Nor did they remove the light.


Jude Genereaux

Ellison Bay, Wis.

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