I’ve talked about lighting a few times before on the Flyleaf blog, explaining my need for ambiance and my fascination with colour and light. But it’s during the darkest time of the year, when the days are mostly grey and the sun sets so early, that my love of light is most visceral.
Every year on the Winter Solstice, I watch the same episode of Northern Exposure. It’s the episode where all the residents of Cicely, Alaska use varied and quirky ways to make it through the darkest time of the year. The episode culminates with a speech that Chris, the town’s philosopher/disc-jockey, gives as he unveils his yearly art installation:
“Goethe’s final words: “More Light”. Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that’s been our unifying cry. More light. Sunlight, torchlight, candlelight, neon, incandescent… Lights to banish the darkness from our caves, to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier’s Field. Little tiny flashlight for the books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep.
Light is more than watts and foot candles. Light is metaphor.
‘Thy word is a lamp under my feet.’
‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’
‘Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom. Lead Thou me on. The night is dark and I am far from home. Lead Thou me on.’
‘ Arise, shine for thy light has come.’
Light is knowledge. Light is life. Light is light.”
Light is both utilitarian and romantic, magical and practical - not to mention chemical. So, for the next couple of months I’ll be planted in front of my SAD lamp, crying for “more light!”