This time of year, I think a lot about light even more so than at all other times of year. I like the word, because it’s a homonym, (light, as in “bright light”, and “light”, as in not “heavy”). Light is so important to digital imagery. You might say that’s all digital imagery really is, perceived light, the medium notwithstanding. Light is energy, with colors as components of that energy. As a digital imagery creator, at the end of the day, all I really do is manipulate energy. Which is kind of cool to think about. because I use that energy in so many other important ways. To dry off after being wet, to grow vegetables in my garden, to make electricity, to tan, etc.). Sometimes I borrow Earth elements to make the light into something solid, with weight, called a print, but not as much these days as I once did.
At this time of year, in the Northern Hemisphere, the amount, intensity and angle of natural sunlight is receding. It begins to grow more scarce around Sept 22nd after the Autumnal Equinox, there are a number of celebrations in many traditions on this date. The most ancient being Mabon, the second harvest feast. The sunlight continues to recede until around the 21st of December, the Winter Solstice, which is an event, again, surrounded by celebrations in many faiths and traditions, with the most ancient recorded one being Yule, or Jul. All of them are very jubilant and inclusive celebrations, marked by the sharing of special treasures. They are so festive, with almost all traditions having stories with some element of sacred light and therefore are usually celebrated using artificial light(s) of some sort, because they pay homage to the return of the Light. They also celebrate oneself, and ones family and friends have successfully lived through the darkest, coldest, and least abundant time of the seasonal cycle. So a show of “light”, to ward off the “weight” of the darkness, and the sharing of remaining treasures. Hoarded nutritional items, things made while whiling away the dark hours, or spiritual treasures resulting from the increase in time available to meditate along with countless others, are shared to mark the end of the scarcity of those treasures during the season and to remind each other that the return of the light brings warmth, fertility tot he soil, and abundance. These gift exchanges are usually in some way part of this seasons celebrations in all traditions. That is what the season of giving means to me. The reminder of the return of the abundance of light.
I find it comforting to know that what I do for a vocation, is aligned along a beam of light, with traditions and rituals so very ancient. As I work with the light and color, throughout the coming year, I vow to try to be mindful of the history of the importance of this light, and the sharing of its meaning, to the many millennia of generations of fellow sojourners on this tiny rock orbiting this little sun.
Wishing you and yours great light and energy in this season, and the coming year.
Stay Bright in 2017!