“But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness, and that happiness, when it's done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive. ”
Light is an ode to life in general. It fills us with awe, with warmth, with hope. We gaze in wonder as the Perseid meteor showers traverse the skies in early August, their tails flowing behind them like glowing kite strings. We seek the golden warmth of the summer sun on the beaches, as the waves crash around us and the squeals of children’s delight fill our ears. The light soaks into our skin, and we wear the afterglow for weeks. After the deepest, darkest, most restless night, morning light comes as a balm of healing. It creeps through the cracks in the shutters, reaches under the curtains, tiptoes across the bedroom floor, and kisses us softly on our weary and half-open eyelids. Another day has come, and though we are heavy with fatigue, there is a certain grace in as we are enveloped in the softness of the morning light and we slowly emerge from the fog of a sleepless night. Light keeps us awake, gives us life.
We need the darkness too, the shadows, for that is what frames the light, giving it shape, boundaries, texture. There is something sacred in the dance of these two partners. One leads, one follows. The roles reverse. They twirl and shift and in the end, each one takes a bow. Darkness speaks of quiet, coziness, a withdrawl from the world. When darkness falls, we go inside, to places where we are safe and protected. We slow down, we quiet ourselves. We do our little evening rituals, enjoying a meal, cleaning up, settling in under the covers to read before drifting off to sleep. Light may gives us life, but dark gives us much-needed rest. Either one, all the time would be torture. As in most things, balance is what we need.
There are varying degrees of light and dark: neither is absolute. In our modern world where everything is lit up at night, there are few places on earth where light pollution does not exist. Cities emit a glow that reaches far into the surrounding countryside. The sad thing is that all of this diminishes the visibility of a natural source of night light, the stars. I once lived in the middle of a national forest, 25 miles away from the nearest small city. It was dark. Really dark. I loved the clarity and the brilliance of the stars, especially clear on cold winter nights. The darkest time of the year has its moments of brightness too.
Though I appreciate the loud brilliance of the summer sun, I usually prefer the subdued, oyster light of winter. The kind produced on dreary, rainy days, that flows into my living room and spills gently across the floor. It was this light that inspired the first photo in my diptych above. The other photo is a double exposure that speaks of merging with the light, of becoming one with the shadows. It was also taken on a dreary day, just before the rain started falling.
My wild nature seeks both the light and the shadow. She seeks to feel the warmth of light glowing inside and to give it an outward expression. She seeks to nurture the flame in others too. Light begets light. Making art gives others the permission and inspiration to do the same. The sacred connections between us are not just limited to something tangible. And so I put this out there, hoping that it may somehow inspire you to nurture your own light, while embracing the shadows that cradle it.
Until next time...