From the Editor

I was excited to hear of the geomagnetic storms bringing glimpses of the Aurora Australis into view for many, with streams of images flooding social media about these spectacular displays. Since it rained for most of the month
here in sunny 2479 (and probably because we are too far north), we didn’t get a peek of the Southern Lights. But it did get me thinking about colour, vision, and darkness (and what a rabbit
hole that is).
If you are a sighted person, you can see after-images and colours when you close your eyes. These are called phosphenes and are the remnants of electrical activity between the brain and the retina, kind of like your own personal Aurora Australis.
Another interesting phenomenon is aphantasia, which is the inability to mentally visualise things. The idea of seeing something in ‘the mind’s eye', that is, imagining it inside your
brain, is something that people are capable of, to different degrees. If I say, 'imagine an apple', what does your brain give you? A photo-realistic red delicious, or a pencil sketch of a hand holding a Granny Smith? Or nothing? No wrong answers, just different ways of seeing things.
We close our eyes to things that are too bright and, in a metaphorical sense, when things are unbearable.
But what colour do you see when you close your eyes? Automatically, you’d most likely say ‘black’, but there’s more to it than that. The German word eigengrau means something like ‘intrinsic grey’ or ‘brain grey’ and describes the nothingness of the colour we see in the absence of light. Last month, we were flooded with intrinsic grey from all the rain and overcast
weather; it’s hard to prevent it seeping into our mood as well.
Winter is here, and with it a chance to see the world anew. Reflect, refocus, and reframe – perspective is everything.

Sally Schofield

Current edition

Recent stories

Read more stories