We are Creatures of Light

Let’s do an experiment. The world is getting heavy. It’s break-in under the strain. Let’s see what we’re missing out on.

There is light.

It is a weightless thing. That makes sense. It’s “light.”

It is separated from heavy things, things with weight.

Things that need light shed their weight to rise to it. Cowslips, maybe.

The poppies my Silesian grandmother loved. Things like that.

They don’t just rise. They spray out. They are gushing, like a fountain, and when they slow, because, after all, they aren’t totally weightless, they turn light-coloured. That’s appropriate.


We call this form of lightness “bright.”

When seed forms there, expressing the heaviness the light teases into rising from the earth, it has weight. This make sit dark. After all, it’s not light, not without the sun-light making it so.

Like this:

Eventually, it is loaded with seed. We say “heavy with seed.” And, as I said, dark.

Even grass blades turn light at their tips when they become heavier than the energy of the sun that is drawing them up.


Sometimes tips just don’t want to give in. Instead of turning light, they pool and gather light that gets caught inside them.

They then turn it into sugar, which all things feed on. It makes them fat and heavy, but also makes them light-headed. Look at them, high up there, in flight.


In the light.

They aren’t made of light, though, so they have to settle.

When they do, we say they “light” or “a-light”. Makes sense. They are still in the realm of light.

If they were on the ground, we would say they land. We would also say they have “gone to ground.” As lightning does.

Yes, you can explain all of this away as illusion brought on by the relative location of the sun to human bodies and the absorptive power of the Earth.

It’s kind of the point, though, really. Our bodies measure light, dark and relative alignment and turn them into human patterns.

In the pattern below, for instance, the relative density of weighted material (dark branches) is not enough to fully block the light. We see through to the light leaves on the far side and know that we can push through to them and, too, be in the light. We will lose the weight of being unable to see further.

When we are in darkness, we say we are “blind.” When we are in a thicket, we are in a “blind” or “blinded.” It is actually a form of light. The word comes from “blend”, or glare, and denotes light and dark that have been “blended” until they give little information.

Too much light can do that as well as too much dark.

Often, these are things that are “caught in the wind.” Like “light,” wind has no weight. As such, it lifts up. It is lift, or Luft, in German. It takes things a-loft.

For a moment, they are light. All around us, this lightness is lifting. It pours into the air.

Even as the air sheds its weight…

… and then the sky lightens and fills with light.

Right down to the surface of the soil.

This is the language of our bodies on Earth. That is pineapple weed up there. If you make a tea of its light blossoms, it will take the heaviness from your mind, make you light-headed, and give the weight to your eyelids instead. At first they will grow heavy, and then you will sleep, blinded at last to all the cares and frustrations of the world.

At no point does the conception break down. In 1820, Goethe argued for a science based on these principles — not science as a poem, but scientific method as an exploration of this nature of ever-present, undifferentiated white light, which materializes very specifically in the things of the world.

In other words, he wanted a scientific method that explored the human apprehension of the world, without first breaking it apart, because at that point one was only, he said, studying the effects of breakage.

Wouldn’t it be useful, in these tough times, to study wholeness?

To be the people who have a language for it, that we can slowly learn to speak?

To be the people who have a word for both that western blue butterfly and those raindrops on a siya? twig: one word for what is the same energy. One that includes my garden anemones.

Why Not? We’ve tried the other thing.

And it is far too heavy for us to lift.

6 replies »

  1. This is one of my favourite sequences/commentaries. It’s one thing to see light, another to feel it. It brings Hopkins’ “Pied Beauty” to mind, too.
    Thank you.

    (“Cowslips” are silene, I think.) (Better name than bladder campion.)


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