Monday, July 7, 2014

This Beautiful Light

A wall in the gallery in the early evening light.
I love the light.

I love the way it comes into your home or where you're working and transforms the colors in the room.

I love the patterns it layers onto the wall and onto the faces of those you love.

I love the late-day sun and the way it tousles the leaves when the wind stirs through the trees.

I love the light on water -- any water, not just important water -- the light on puddles and ditches and in the tiny sprinkles on a window.

I love the light sifting through the dust on our old dirt road after a car passes by. It's stirringly beautiful in a way that's not sensible unless you've seen it yourself or unless you have either an artist's soul or an humble soul or an old soul.

I love the low winter light and the light from the North best. 

And I love the light behind big, dark billowing thunderclouds that turns the edges of them orange-yellow and disconcertingly threatening.

My younger daughter, Alicia, is consistently bothered  because I prefer to have the lights off in a room and she doesn't see any reason to live life in the dark.

"It's not dark in here," I say even when it is.

"It's dark in here," she says. "I can't see anything."

So she turns off the darkness.

And turns on the light.

And when she does, we lose the real light -- the natural light -- God's light.

Sometimes, at night, when the moon is full and I've remembered to open the drapes, the light will awaken us when it reaches the far western sky. I like to open the windows then and watch the moonlight lay patterns on the curtains as they move in the breeze.

My older daughter told me once that the curtains in our bedroom are okay for me, but look like they belong to an old person. "But I like how they look in the light," I said and she reiterated that they were fine for me but that she wouldn't want such old-lady curtains.

Next time she's at my house when the moon is big, I'll open the windows and let the wind into the house and then wake her to show her how the light looks filtering through the ruffles on the Priscilla curtains and embroidery work on the drapes. I don't know what she'll think. Probably, she will not like it. Probably, she will wish I hadn't bothered her with the minutia of my life.

Wonder why the light makes freckles on our faces? It made freckles on my brother and sister's faces and my children's faces and mine too. My cousins have freckles.

It's taken me decades to decide I wasn't cheated because God decided to make me and those that I love the most with freckles. Actually, now, when I paint a portrait -- any portrait at all -- I always paint them with freckles because...

Freckles, maybe..? Yes, maybe. Maybe they affirm to us that God loves how we look in the light.


Maybe so.

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