the contradictions of light

sunrise over Niagara Falls

We are fascinated by light.

Our world is governed by it. Sunrise, sunset. Morning, night. Seeing, not seeing. Awake, asleep. Healthy, poorly. Life and death. Light controls our biological rhythms. As living creatures we are inextricably linked to light.

We are drawn to light, like moths almost. Who hasn’t paused to watch the sun rise or set? Who hasn’t marvelled at the richness of colour in that morning or night sky? Glistening dew and its water droplets reflecting sunlight. Sunlight dancing through a wooded canopy. A flash of lightening startling the dark sky.

We use light in idiom too, reflecting the importance of light to us. Idioms like: Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. A guiding light. In the light of… Out like a light. Shed light on. The light dawned. The glint in your eye. Even enlightenment, or seeing the light, to describe finding a connection to something greater.

And we try to replicate light in our manufactured world. Fluorescent light, incandescent light, light emitting diodes, laser lights etc.  We use them to create brightly lit advertising displays, televisions, laptops, mobiles, rooms, houses…

I took this picture of sunrise over Niagara Falls this morning. Somehow, the man-made advertising light on the hotel seemed to destroy the majesty of the sun.

It served as a reminder of our fascination, alongside our abject inability to come close to the wonder of the natural world.

 

contrary to contradiction…

image

The well bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves.

Oscar Wilde

I don’t claim to be wise, but it amuses me when I contradict myself.

For example, I sometimes catch myself behaving in a way which flies in the face of what I’ve just said. Or saying something that contradicts what I’m doing.

For example, the other day, to allow a group of people to explore learning, we folded our arms, then unfolded them, to fold them again the other way. We were exploring the process of learning and I asked them to reflect and then share their process of learning. I explained there was no judgement. I then asked them to repeat the folding but said, ‘Now fold your arms the wrong way.’ I noticed my use of ‘wrong’ and smiled inside.

We are funny aren’t we?

We are multiple. More than one. Made up of parts. Light and shade. Simple complexity. Surface depth.

the wisdom of the credits…

ericandernie

How is it that the sun makes us feel good?

I’m ignorant here but I’m sure there are physiological reasons; warmth, light, vitamin creation etc., but also psychological and emotional reasons.

I’ve just been looking out the window at a sun drenched plaza.  People are sitting on steps, eating, drinking, standing, chatting, walking purposefully. The trees are showing their first signs of bud. The colours on the brick built cathedral stunning. The shadows evocative. The light glorious. The mood inviting.

I’m inside.  I can’t feel the warmth; the sunlight isn’t landing on me directly and the sun isn’t being overly energetic with any chemical in my body… and yet just gazing at the scene makes me feel good.  Bring me sunshine…

Eric and Ernie were right.