I have a visceral love of light*. The way the sun filters through a canopy of leaves will stop me in my tracks. My most rejuvenating place is curled up in a comfortable chair and reading a book in with the sun shining through the window. Watching the light cascade over the pages, feeling the sun’s warm kisses on my skin… I would sacrifice just about everything else in my life to have that feeling every moment of every day.
Yesterday, I told you about the haze here. So for days there has been no cascading light, no warm rays. As someone with a history of depression (phew, Berlin… what a time, what a time) and pronounced Seasonal Affective Disorder, I should be going through waves of panic after so many cloudy days.
Instead, I have turned my focus away from the anxiety building in my chest and toward seeking the core of light that emanates from other people. Yeah, kinda like a moth.
Looking for the light in another person is terrifying. It requires your heart to be open. It requires piercing through layer after layer of their defensive barriers. It requires accepting another person’s flaws. It requires accepting that they may reject you. It requires facing potential heartbreak. It requires you to love first.
But the warmth that you can feel from that light — the light of love from another person who opens up and reciprocates with vulnerability — will warm you more intensely than any sunny day.
That light will pierce straight into your chest and emanate outward from there. It will radiates out through your eyes, your arms, your belly button. That the remnants of that light will stay with you even when the clouds come.
That light will inspire you to write, to play music, to paint, to sculpt, to laugh, to run, to jump, to hopscotch, to make love, to protest, to shelter, to give, to receive, to dream, to change.
That light is why we continue living, why we continue striving.
Whose light do you see today?**
*Yeah, very similar to the character in the Mumford & Sons “Lover of the Light” video.
** If you need a little inspiration for how to see light in the person facing you, check out Karen Walrond‘s TEDxHouston talk which elucidates the beauty of the individual and highlights the wonderful promise and peril of the diversity of our world. After returning from a trip to Ethiopia, she shares some of her experiences and her broader mission of helping people see The Beauty of Different.
This post’s featured image, Beijing artist Li Hui‘s sculpture ‘Everything Starts From Here‘ (20 x 30 x 20cm), sends light beams through transparent dining goblets to project a very impressive light image on the wall. Image courtesy of Netherlands Ministry of Art.