Every once in awhile, this magical thing happens to me.
I’ll be plowing through my day, hurried and tense, when suddenly I’ll stumble over a little loveliness, left behind by my past self.
It’s like a gift, really: the rose petal pressed between two pages. The poem scribbled on a cocktail napkin, tucked in my coat pocket.
Today though, I found a gift on the memory card of my beat-up old Canon Rebel:
I don’t know how it happened, but I must have forgotten to load a set of photos from last Fall, because when I plugged in my camera cable and flicked my Rebel on to download new material, a sudden wash of yellow blazed across the screen — the unmistakable colors of Autumn.
I was a little sad back then: my heart still raw over a dear friend who’d hurt me. But an aching heart is good for art — every artist knows that — because it’s hungry for the Light.
(And when it comes to the Light, hungry is a good thing to be.)
I still remember taking these shots: in a sudden fit of frustration, I’d pulled the lens off my camera and simply held it in place, letting the light leak through.
The result is a series of unedited shots that look like watery Impressionist brushstrokes, washed with sun, messy and soft:
And I needed messy and soft today…
Maybe you do, too. ❤
Yesterday, I told you that I’d spend this week talking a little bit about my struggle with insomnia:
And its light.
The post below is the first I ever wrote about my disordered sleeping patterns … And as far as I can tell, it’s the *only* post in which I ever talked about it overtly.
Somehow, that seemed like a good place to begin.
I like the world best by morning light…
The way it pushes into the room through every opening.
The way it fills up every space with an invitation to begin, now, while the canvas is blank and the page uncluttered.
I am an insomniac. I have been for all my life, starting from the moment I was born. I screamed through every night as a child, terrorized by my own thoughts — the regrettable dark underside of a vivid imagination.
As an adult, I’ve learned to wear my sleeplessness with quiet tolerance. To rub concealer over the dark circles and go smiling into the day. Still, I often say that Insomnia is the loneliest small town in the world – Population 1 – and in that loneliness and silence comes a cacophony of thought, words, wonderings, memories, shadows, dark stains in the gray matter, neurons like flashbulbs, firing and firing into the dark.
And then the morning comes.
And the thoughts sort themselves back into boxes.
The lids of the boxes are closed.
The light spills in again.
Those first moments when I open my eyes and drink in the clear white sundazzle — those are the ones I treasure most.
I take a deep breath, and I begin. ❤
Each of us — trust me — has a little Light to give away…
The trick is to shine it where it’s wanted.
Thirty-four years now I’ve wandered this planet, and oh, how many days I’ve wasted, showering sunshine on those who wanted rain. Smoothing out the path for people who wanted to climb some kind of mountain, scrambling and slipping on loose stones…
Oh, friends, I’ve been such a fool.
So now: are you here, hungry for sun? Sit down then, and I’ll slice it wide-open for you. If you’re thirsty, I’ll squeeze it fresh into the glass.
There are places you can go, if you want to toss back a shot full of shadows. If you want to stumble home drunk in the dark. Believe me: I understand that kind of thirst, but I can’t serve it here — not today, at least. Not tomorrow, either.
But if it’s the sun you want … Well, then, go on, Love:
Drink it down, that liquid Light. ❤
There’s no special place you need to go to find the light —
You can climb a mountain, if you want. But you’re just as likely to find it on road full of potholes, at the end of the day, when your brain is cluttered and tired but the dog must be walked and the dinner must be prepared and you don’t have your DSLR with you — just your iPhone.
There’s no special skill to this: just walk, and open your eyes. Feel that single narrow shaft of it dancing over your face — a flash of warmth — there and gone.
Stop in your tracks.
Back up a step.
There — there. It beams through the tiniest hole in the trees like a narrow ribbon, long and lean.
Position yourself in the path of it.
Pin it down into pixels — if such a thing were possible:
Watch the light flare across your screen, and think: how very easy it would be, to miss this moment. ❤