light

POETRY: Jung’s Shadow And Matthew 4:16 by Marci Rae Johnson

March 10, 2017

Even in winter there was sun living in the green shoulders of the waves. I’d walk the beach alone with shadows: gulls in formation on the ground. Once the bones. Once a poem that wrote itself behind my eyes. When I’d come home he wouldn’t say how much he feared the way I’d carry words to the clouds and let them go. Everyone carries a shadow. Everyone breathes out fog in the cold. Even the living sun can’t melt the ice shelf that pushes up the sand, makes of this familiar scape a wild shape— a place that can’t be known. I walk the dunes above, misplace the old theologies. I suppose a light has dawned. The sun pushed high as it will get, tapping the tops of pines, my own shadow long among the others [...]

ADVENT CRAFTS: From Darkness To Light—Celebrating Advent by Kate Ristow

December 15, 2015

From Catechist Magazine Lights are a focal point at this time of the year. Lights are a focal point at this time of the year. In late afternoon, we turn on our indoor lamps to offset the gloominess of shortened December days. We decorate the outside of our homes with colorful lights and drape lights on the branches of the Christmas tree. We place fragrant candles throughout the house and we resolve to gather each day as a family to light the Advent wreath candles and to pray together. In our preparations for Christmas, we give life to the words of Bernadette Farrell’s familiar hymn in which we sing, “Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in your Church gathered today.” [...]

POETRY: Nocturne, by W. S. Merwin

May 23, 2014

The stars emerge one by one into the names that were last found for them far back in other darkness no one remembers by watchers whose own names were forgotten later in the dark and as the night deepens other lumens begin to appear around them as though they were shining through the same instant from a single depth of age though the time between each one of them and its nearest neighbor contains in its span the whole moment of the earth turning in a light that is not its own with the complete course of life upon it born to brief reflection recognition and anguish from one cell evolving to remember daylight laughter and distant [...]

POETRY: Instructions To Painters & Poets, by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

January 29, 2014

I asked a hundred painters and a hundred poets how to paint sunlight on the face of life Their answers were ambiguous and ingenuous as if they were all guarding trade secrets Whereas it seems to me all you have to do is conceive of the whole world and all humanity as a kind of art work a site-specific art work an art project of the god of light the whole earth and all that’s in it to be painted with light And the first thing you have to do is paint out postmodern painting And the next thing is to paint yourself in your true colors in primary colors as you see them (without whitewash) paint yourself as you see yourself without make-up without masks Then paint your favorite people and animals with your brush loaded with light And be [...]

PRAYER: O Light Invisible, by T. S. Eliot

August 5, 2013

From The Rock O Light Invisible, we praise thee! Too bright for mortal vision. O Greater Light, we praise thee for the less; The eastern light our spires touch at morning, The light that slants upon our western doors at evening, The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight. Moon light and star light, owl and moth light, Glow-worm glow light on a grassblade. O Light Invisible, we worship thee! We thank thee for the lights that we have kindled, The light of altar and of sanctuary; Small lights of those who meditate at midnight And lights directed through the colored panes of windows And light reflected from the polished stone, The gilded carven wood, the colored fresco. Our gaze is submarine, our eyes look upward And see the light that [...]

PRAYER: Christmas Novena (two of two)

December 24, 2012

From Treasury of Novenas Heavenly Father, you made Christmas night radiant with the splendor of Jesus Christ, our light.  I welcome him as Lord, the true light of the world.  Bring me to the joy of his heavenly kingdom. We are filled with the new light by the coming of your word among us.  May the light of faith shine in my words and actions. Lord God, I praise you for creating man, and still more for restoring him in Christ.  Your son shares our weakness: may I share his glory.  Make me faithful to your word, that I may bring your life to others.  He made me your child.  May he welcome me into his kingdom. God of power and life, glory of all who believe in you, fill the world with your splendor and show the nations the light of [...]

ADVENT MEDITATION: Concerning The Light by Isaac Pennington

December 3, 2012

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. (John 1:4-5) What is the darkness which comprehendeth not the light?  Is it not man in the unregenerate state?  “Ye were darkness,” saith the apostle, speaking concerning them as they had been in that state. Now it pleaseth the Lord, that in this darkness his pure light should shine, to gather man out of the darkness.  For unless light should shine on man in his dark state, he could never be gathered out of it; but he that is turned to the light, and followeth it, cannot abide in the darkness; but cometh into that which gathereth and preserveth the mind out of it. But of what nature is this light, which [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (15) Night, Stars, the Universe, by Peter Friederici

September 28, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses What’s dark?  I was in the caverns at Carlsbad once when the ranger pulled that old trick of turning the lights out on our tour so that we all could experience absolute darkness for once, as we can’t in our ordinary lives because of the light bleeding out from the stars, the moon, and our own banal lighting.  She [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (14) Sunset, by Peter Friederici

September 27, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses The sun falls to the west and the body comes alive again.  The shadow of the mountains is a solid thing with a life of its own.  Moving ever more quickly, it prowls across the flats, settling itself, cool and dense.  I covet it.  On many days I have bemoaned how swiftly time passes, but as the shadow nears, the [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (13) Van Gogh in Arles, by Peter Friederici

September 26, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses What happens is that in the glare of afternoon eyes physically do tire.  When rhodopsin is broken apart in the eye by the energy of light, it needs to be put back together again for later use, a reaction that works best in darkness or when the eyes are closed, and so it is a perfectly natural reaction to close the eyes for [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (12) Migraine, by Peter Friederici

September 25, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses It begins with something as slight as a glimmer from a smoothed stone reflecting the sun, or the gleam that bounces off a milk-white chunk of quartz in a wash bottom.  Sometimes it’s the rays of the sun itself, caught by accident in the corner of the eye.  Always the result is unexpected: I am stabbed by a spear of [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (11) Watching for Eagles, by Peter Friederici

September 24, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses For a while, on the job, all we had to do was watch eagles, so as a wet spring was slowly baked into the crispness of summer, I scanned the sere landscape all afternoon for a glimpse of broad wings.  With a job such as that one has time to think and to gather superstitions, and I came to believe that the best way to find [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (10) Deception, by Peter Friederici

September 21, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses “[T]he chief glory of the desert is its broad blaze of omnipresent light,” wrote John Van Dyke in his 1901 classic, The Desert.  This short, luminous book lyrically explores the low deserts of California and Arizona, forsaken places that at the time had not yet been made destinations for the aesthetically minded. No [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (9) Mirage, by Peter Friederici

September 20, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses The light of the morning has intensified enormously, all its color leached away.  The sun pulses, the sky glares, the pale sand bounces back the light.  The desert is white, all reflection, gravel, mirage.  No shade, no shelter: a sorry bleakness.  Except for a high-circling turkey vulture, the birds have vanished.  [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (8) Ravens, by Peter Friederici

September 19, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses The ravens fly together, always paired up.  Except for their glinting eyes, they are charcoal-black, an animated absence of light, but at noon their wings flash like liquid mercury as they fly down the dry canyon.  They fly west, into the sunlight, two crosses of burning whiteness against the burnt rock [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (7) Ultraviolet, by Peter Friederici

September 18, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses At noon a billion photons of ultraviolet light hit an average-sized human body each second.  Who says it never rains in the desert?  This is a torrent, a downpour.  They carry sufficient energy to knock electrons away from atoms and molecules in the upper layer of skin: it would be wise to wear sunscreen.  It’s been [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (6) Enskyment , by Peter Friederici

September 17, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses Light is information.  The physicists read its body and learn what makes up the star whence it came.  The engineers corral it into glass cables that carry our conversations, images, hopes, dreams.  My job is to translate its vibrations into the specific plumages of birds and their eggs. Light is the fastest thing we [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (5) Clarity, by Peter Friederici

September 14, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses The crispness of the light in the desert is my hunger, especially in the morning, when the rays slant in sidewise as if from a giant floodlight and throw every plant, every rock into sharp relief.  It is a severe and yet mellow light, not yet charged with the overwhelming force and sapping heat of the middle part of the [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (4) Family History, by Peter Friederici

September 13, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses “The value of exposure to light cannot very easily be overrated.”  That’s what my grandfather wrote, in 1930, in the New York Times.  A half-page in the New York Times to reproduce a lecture he’d given!  He’d done quite well for himself, having come to this country from Germany only ten years earlier.  He was [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (3) Photons, by Peter Friederici

September 12, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses It begins with random atomic collisions in the heart of the sun, where the temperature exceeds 15 million degrees and the pressure is great enough to fuse hydrogen atoms, four apiece, into helium.  A thousand billion pounds of hydrogen converted to nuclear energy every second, year upon year, eon upon eon, each pound as [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (2) Sunrise, by Peter Friederici

September 11, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses If you were to awaken at first light, you might think it a pool of acid that quietly slipped along the horizon and was rising now to leach away the no-color of night, first into paleness and then into incandescence.  Blackness gives way to translucent gold, the one tone as rich and deep as the other. As the sound of a lone [...]

MYSTICISM: Fifteen Ways of Seeing the Light — (1) Talisman, by Peter Friederici

September 10, 2012

From the Georgia Review  “. . . the natural limitation so flight sempiternally deny the satisfaction of desire.  For this is the inherent irony of vision, that it reveals to us the space beyond our bodies, and the shortness of our grasp.  Visual perception makes it possible for us to grasp for what is beyond, and, at the same time, to realize that we cannot reach it.” —    F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Five Senses A small rounded stone in my pocket: dark brown, no larger than a half-dollar.  It looks quite the same as approximately 1,600,000,000 other stones that you could pick up for free in the southwestern quarter of Arizona.  I carry it with me. Here.  Hold it in the light.  See the rich brown coating of desert varnish, [...]