What kind of light?

what kind of light

“Light” was my word for 2014. It’s an ideal word to guide you when you love to make photographs. And it has moved me in directions I’m very glad to have explored.

But there is so much more to the word than that. When times are dark, we all look for light. As we approach the winter solstice, I leave you with a meditation by a favourite poet, Mary Oliver.

I have farther to go with this exploration of “light.” Perhaps we all do…

The Buddha’s Last Instruction

by Mary Oliver

“Make of yourself a light”
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal—a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
even green.
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire—
clearly I’m not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.

11 thoughts on “What kind of light?

  1. I love how the light and shadow create a snowflake pattern in your image. You have such a wonderful eye and your images are always filled with beautiful light, my friend! And Mary Oliver’s words always shine. Wishing you and yours, a wonderful light filled holiday season!

  2. Sherry you are like a light, a beacon for all of us who struggle…your zest for life is wonderful…and you have inspired me to finally make a move towards my goals…when you vowed to take your photography more seriously…you accomplished such great things with it…and you work at it all the time…I admire that…Your New York photo’s so outstanding that for Christmas this year…I’m giving my husband a photo tour of New York from the tour guide that you used…
    As for myself…because your words are still in my head…I’m committing to making my writing more of a priority along with my photos…I think I have found myself again..I was wandering for awhile…but I feel the need to get back outside…thank you for being a leader of sorts..
    Wishing you the Happiest of Christmases and a most wonderful New Year…I will be watching you my Friend….xoxxo

  3. Beautiful pairing of your luminous image with the poetry of Mary Oliver! Have a wonderful holiday season, Sherry!

  4. What an awesome image, only you could do as far as I am concerned. It is just like the lamp post is floating on a cloud, you always amaze me with your photography and glad we are on the journey together. Looking forward to seeing some beautiful turquoise water in 2015. Happy Holidays Sherry.

  5. Such a lovely lamp creating patterns of light. I like the unusual poem by Mary Oliver.
    Yes, light is so important as we always seek it out in our darkest moments – and we always find it somehow shining in unexpected places.

  6. I fell in love with this photo when I saw it on FB. Absolutely stunning. And such thoughts to ponder in the poem you’ve shared. Wishing you a joyous Christmas, Sherry!

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