A couple weeks ago, I had surgery done to stop my keratoconus from progressing. The procedure involved a ton of drops and exposure to UV light, I’ve certainly had more invasive surgeries done on me.
I feel much better now, but for the first week, I couldn’t stand light of any kind. I wore thick sun shields inside the house and spent most of the week in this room in the dark. I could see enough to put some YouTube videos on autoplay which I could then listen to, but couldn’t watch, and I listened to a couple episodes of Welcome to Night Vale, apart from that, I slept, or at least tried to sleep, I couldn’t even do much of that because of the pain. I almost felt like a vampire, wandering around the house in the dark all the time. I played touch-based games, trying to count all the beads on a necklace (I counted 115 on one), feeling the contours of pendants, even stroking the cool resin of my Aphrodite statue. (I like the feel of it, it’s so smooth.)
During this time, I didn’t really feel like paying attention to any deities who weren’t somehow associated with the night. I shied away from Freyja and Freyr and found myself talking to Nott and Mani. I wanted the peace that darkness can bring, relief from the pain, a few hours of sleep. I had a strange dream where Mani was knitting someone a sweater. I think at the time I would have welcomed any dream, it would have meant that I was at least getting some sleep. (Seriously, eye surgery hurts, people.)
This week I feel much better and my eye is healing well. The doctor didn’t even have to remove the bandage contact lens he put in because it fell out (it’s probably in my bed somewhere, that’ll be fun finding it all of a sudden).
At the very least, this experience has taught me that, while I might still find dark places creepy for no real reason, darkness has its place and sometimes all you want to do is lie in the dark and be quiet.