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What Does it Mean to Feel Gloamy?

Updated: Dec 11, 2021

Thought Experiment below: Playing With Your Emotions

"When the light has fled and the stars have not yet shown. That is the gloaming. The loveliest and saddest hour of the day." Deanna Raybourne

Last week I made my first pandemic foray to the AGO, and while I was excited about this destination, I was also a bit disappointed that I wasn’t headed to a forest for my ramble. Thankfully, the Matthew Wong Blue View exhibit ended up providing all a forest could and more. Walking through the space felt like taking a solitary stroll through the gloaming, that time of day right before night where shades of blue settle over everything and seep into the body.

As I took in his large landscapes and intimate interiors, I was aware of how restorative blue moods can be and was relieved to have found a place to enjoy them. Loneliness, peace, melancholy, nostalgia and longing slipped through me like a cool stream.

There was one painting with a full moon shining through some winter trees entitled, ‘Look, the Moon’. I wished there was a word for that feeling when you see something extraordinarily beautiful on your own, when you are at once so connected to the world and so alone in it. I think I’ll call that feeling gloaming.

Thought Experiment: Playing with Your Emotions

While you’re walking, check in with your emotions. Acknowledge that there may be a variety of feelings showing up at the same time, providing a distinct perspective. See if you can allow it all, even if the feelings seem contradictory. Perhaps invent a name for your unique emotional ‘colour’ and savour it. Emotions give us important information, but we can also be playful with them.

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