Amid the noisy machines, flashing tv screens and the running track, there is a window at my fitness center. It is a glass block section that scatters light into the space where we work. Everyone inside has an individual training plan going on. There’s sweat, determined looks, clocks, and all around the sounds of metal clanking. I was tromping along with my earbuds locked into a current-events podcast when I got stopped by this view. This was greater news.
In the Genesis account of how the world came to be, the calling forth of light was the very first creative act. Everything else followed this. As artists, (creators who move at the initiation of Creator) we know the value of light in any composition. We manage light, move it, mix it, manipulate it, arrange it, mimic it. But we cannot create it out of nothing.
The reflected light dancing on the sill here is so lyrical, cast forward by the waves in the glass, received on another plane and resting there all day for anyone to notice. But the source of this light is what captured me and still continues to quietly move me. The light is not a blinding flood, or an enchanting deception but rather a beckoning presence. And it is highlighted all the more because of the shadows mingling near it. This was a singular moment.
I spent a little time here, turning my phone from talking machine to image recorder. After a bit of sheer enjoyment, I went back to the busy track. The news on the podcast I could not repeat to you now, though it was important. The calories lost and the cardio exercised was necessary. But the experience with this light is sustaining for me, even today. For this was not just about the passing of something pretty. It was an engagement with the maker of pretty.
Imagine if you were walking through a space and came across the illumination in a painting by Carravagio. This might stop you too. But what if Carravagio himself was standing right there, hoping you might notice. What if the artist himself was somehow translated to your time and place so that you could actually talk with him a bit if you wanted to. What would you say to him? “How did you do that?” “Why did you arrange it this way?” or maybe just “. . .thank-you”. I am thinking that Someone greater than Caravaggio is here.