It’s only the middle of the afternoon, but the sky is laden heavy with storm and snow. It’s gone so dark I can no longer read, and I slowly leave the blanketed comfort of my corner by the window in search of this other, less subtle, harsher, more strident light.
I don’t much care for this other light. In truth, I could almost say I resent it. This light, it changes things. It stands as a threshold past which day becomes night and what we thought was material and immutable and permanent suddenly becomes something else, but mostly shadows of itself. It gives different hues to colours, even different sizes to things. It makes the pages of my old, old, old Penguin copy of The Painted Veil seem even browner, even brittler, even older. Almost too fragile to bear. And it does the same to my hands, to the worn out brocade of the chair cover, even to the terracotta coloured walls, the white of the ceiling. It solidifies shadows into corners of rooms and under furniture, multiplies them, turns them into still stone giants lurking suspended over so much of my time, of my space.
I flick the switch and it is then, as I turn around again, that I find that ghostly apparition suddenly materialised across the room. And for once I silently forgive this light its harshness. Much later that same evening, as I return to my room, there it is once again: still hard, still bright, still light, but another glimpse of almost ethereal beauty.
text & photography: © Nina Light CC-BY-NC-ND