At some point in the 1300’s, people started using a word that we don’t use much these days, and more’s the pity for that. The word is “twilight.” Some sources say it means “two lights,” perhaps differentiating between two (“twi”) phases of lighting or non-lighting, as the case may be, or perhaps a brief time that occurs twice per day. The modern definition is “light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon.”
Other sources say that the “twi” does not mean two, but rather “half,” so that twilight is like saying half light. Still others say that “twi” means “tween” or between. Between light. That’s interesting. Between what? Between dusk and dawn? No, that would be night. Night is between dusk and dawn, and day is between dawn and dusk. So what is this “between light”? I think it is a light between two worlds. It’s not sunlight and it’s not moonlight. It’s a kind of “light,” a weird light if you’ve ever gone out and looked at it--most especially in the woods--that exists for a very short time between two worlds: the world of the sun and brightness and the world of darkness. Contrary to some sources, I believe that twilight occurs only once per day between the day and the evening but not between the evening and the day.
The Sanskrit word “samdhya” is translated into English as “twilight,” but what it literally means is “a holding together, a junction.” A holding together of what--as if something might fall apart? A junction of what? That would fit perfectly into my belief of twilight being a light between two worlds. Perhaps twilight, then, is a holding together of the seen and the unseen, of the forthright and the hidden, of the blatant and the occult. Perhaps twilight is that tiny gap that exists--that junction--between two phases of the world and two phases of being, and as such, perhaps it embodies the principles from both worlds.
It’s hard to capture a picture of twilight. Everything appears momentarily black and white, regardless of its hue, which points even more toward the idea of being between two worlds. When I go out into twilight, it hypnotizes me. I feel so drawn to the “between.” I feel that I could melt into it and enter another world.
And then almost as soon as it materializes, it vanishes, and I have to wait for tomorrow.