Stranger Thoughts: Light

When you get stuck in life, the images reeled repeats endlessly like a broken film recorder. It is akin to being placed in a room assembled of high walls on either side. No matter where your head turns, in the end, it all comes back to square one. Left to right or right to left, everything winds up looking the same.

Confined within the small space of the wall, there are limited opportunities to encounter skillful experiences. The focal point of the optic lens is no longer wide and open, but of one-dimensional and rigid. There is little room to generate content, much less the spontaneous outburst of creativity.

In science, we learn that light is a form of energy composed of electromagnetic waves travelling in a straight path. What medium the air travels affects its speed.

Refraction is what occurs when a light wave passes from a fast medium to a slow medium. The light rays bend due to a change in the transmission medium – velocity of the wave is changed while its frequency remains.

When met with an obstacle, Diffraction occurs and there is a change in direction. The light wave passes from one medium to another and spreads out in waves past the small opening.

Lately, I sit with both palms propping the chin of my head. My mind is restless and as a result, the body does not do well to sit in peace. It runs amok in a senseless direction. It is similar to a light confined within a cube, except this time, there are no walls and only mirrors erected on all sides. Light reflects off everything it hits, chaotically bouncing in maniac velocity.

I drink more coffee than what my doctor approves, and wait to feel the pounding heart beat in sync with the seconds of my bedside clock. On such days, I feel like a light wave passing through a glass prism: separating out in a chromatic dispersion of colours. Even then, I count my blessings. I am a watercolour painting, a work in progress.

A couple weeks back, I woke up to the morning sunlight streaming through pockets of my dusty curtains. The light cast against the darkened room was a breath of fresh air, bringing with it a sense of relief. The diffraction of light beams through the tiny slit of the opening was a reminder that there are days when we have to shrink our bodies in order to continue moving forward. Only when we hurdle through the barrier can we once again expand our bodies to fill up the spaces of every nook and corner.

An explorer of climbing rooftops to chase sunrise and sunsets; I indulge in the heat of the sun, soaking up sunbeams to radiate my own kind of warmth. The delicate rays illuminate apertures within the body, permitting light to travel within empty vessels I have long forgotten.

Or as Leonard Cohen once said, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

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