The Light

Instructions: (From Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg) Tell about the quality of light coming in from your window. Jump in and write. Don’t worry if it’s night and the curtains are closed or you would rather write about the light up north—just write. Go for ten minutes, fifteen, a half an hour.

Don’t be afraid. Write what you can. You don’t need to be poetic. I’ve never written about the light. Description is one of the writing skills that I’m still learning because I used to hate description. I used to skip descriptions whenever I read a book, and I never got the point of why the reader has to care about whether the character was tall or short, or had red or black hair. Descriptions bored me until I took poetry classes, and I realized that descriptions need not be boring. Now I’m scared of descriptions because I compare my descriptions to the way poets do it, and my writing pales in comparison, but I have to stop thinking about them and just write.

Ok so the light is behind my curtain. Concentrate on that. The curtains are drawn over white venetian blinds. The curtain has light and sharp brush strokes of pink, pale gray, pale brown, and little hints of blue and violet. They all form little patches of paint that look like they can be flowers.

The light is evenly distributed across the window. There’s nothing spectacular about the light. It’s like a normal haze of morning sun. It lights up the whole window very evenly as though there was a square piece of electrical light attached behind the curtains and venetian blinds instead of light rays that are originating from a far away round sun. It looks like the light source is just there behind the curtain. It seems so near, but, in reality, it is far.

The light doesn’t have the capability to enter my room. It shines a pittance over my desk, which is right under the window. The light is faint here on my desk, but it’s bright and clear there in the window. You’d think something so powerful and bright can shine a little better, but an inch from the window, the light fades and weakens.

The light changes. It goes brighter sometimes, as though it is attempting to break into the window but fails miserably. Like a pulsating light that glimmers for a fraction of a second, barely noticeable. The illusion of pulses are probably caused by a passing cloud that temporarily blocked the sun’s rays. When that cloud leaves the sun, the light shines brighter, but then it is replaced by another cloud that decided to park itself there above the sky, in front of the sun, and didn’t care that I am not getting enough sunlight through my window.

The light is white. There it goes again, the light shined brighter. It’s fascinating to watch something alive. Unpredictable. You don’t know when it’s going to shine a little brighter or dim a little more.

I’m looking at the light, and at the same time, I am not looking at the light. Can you really look at something that is the reason why you can see, and thus is the thing that makes you look instead of you looking at it independently, without its help?

The light is growing weak, and you can feel it being sucked from the curtains and out the window, like a movie scene that eclipses into darkness. Foreboding, but irrelevant to passersby because no one notices that the light is weakening except for the girl at the window writing about the light.

Is the light lonely? It is dispersed, it is present everywhere, but no one notices except the artists, and I guess it’s okay if only artists see you, because they see you clearly, and they pay attention, and that can make up for all the times that the light was ignored and dismissed.

The whole humanity owes everything to the light. The beauty of the word, all that is owed to the light. And what else can I say about the light that hasn’t been said before? How else can I pay better attention to the light?

I can feel my brain running out of fuel. It’s chugging along like a weakened train that tries to move against its rusty body.

I remember in science class we studied about light waves, but you never see any waves. You see the light as one sheet outside the window, or it’s just everywhere, and you can’t describe its shape. If you ask the eyes, they won’t know the light’s shape, but they know the shapes of those that were illuminated by the light.

Illuminati. There’s a shop in the Philippines that sells chandeliers, and the shop is called Illuminati. It’s kind of funny. This is something I learned through Dan Brown’s books. I forget whether it was the Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons. I get them mixed up now. I did think Angels and Demons had a better storyline even if The Da Vinci code had more controversial thoughts about religion.

Taste. What would the light taste like if the tongue can feel its presence. Will it be bland? A bland whiteness. Will it be like white chocolate? Will it taste like snow? Will it taste like tomorrow?

Hear. The light is silent. What would its music be if the ears could feel it’s presence? Will it sound like sorrow? Will it sound like happiness? Will it be like an even orchestra with grand notes that never go up and down, but a steady flow of melody? What would that sound like? Can that tune ever be made? Can that tune even exist?

Eyes. What else do you see?

Nose. What would the light smell like if the nose could feel its presence? Would it smell like dew, like freshness? Would it smell like an apple’s pristine white body? Will it smell like sin? Will it smell like discovery?

Skin. What would the light feel like if the skin felt its presence? Would it feel smooth? Would it feel the light’s particles, so grainy and sandy? Would it feel like latex paint, smooth, bending? What would the light feel like when the sun goes down? Would it feel like a person holding on, clawing yet dragged down to the depths of the sea? Would it be like a movie star who takes her last bow, and gracefully exits the stage?

What would it feel like?

What is the light?

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