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February 4 - Points of Light in the Darkness of Night

As we continue to move through the hours of the day, today’s focus is on the darkness of night.

The traditional prayers for the hours of the day begin and end in darkness.

The monstic hours begin with Matins or Vigils, prayers prayed in the pre-dawn hours. The day ends with Compline or Night Prayer to end the day. Each of these is a prayer that happens in the darkness.

I am curious about how our seeing shifts in the darkness. When we allow our eyes to adjust, we may see more than we initially expected. Stargazers intentionally carry red flashlights to be able to see enough but not so much that their eyes lose the adjustment of vision to the darkness. When we allow our eyes to adjust to darkness, we see points of light more clearly.

Today’s invitation is to notice darkness of night in your environment.

Practice - The Darkness of Night and Points of Light

Continue with your images for hours of the day with images for night. Below are a couple examples of images for night. Your own image might include the moon, a favorite constellation of stars, a lantern or candle, something to depict points of light you find in the darkness.

You might also begin to look at your images made throughout the week and see how they fit together. If you enjoy this practice and want to expand it, you could create additional hours to add to your series. You might include the darkness of the predawn hours as well as images of light for mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Below you will see the complete series for the images I have been sharing each day with the addition pre-dawn, mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Light painting is another way to explore light in the darkness. The darkness creates a canvas for drawing with small flashlights or light-up toys.

There is a free app called “Light Painting” that allows you to adjust the camera on your phone for a longer exposure time. I recommend 10 seconds to start. This is a fun intergenerational activity - good for full body drawing energy.

Inspiration from Light Artist Bruce Munro

A few years ago my family visited a fascinating outdoor installation exhibit of works by Bruce Munro at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens in Norfolk, Virginia. Munro’s use of light to create environments filled me with wonder and awe.

Here’s a link to a video and article from the Wall Street Journal, What Would it Be Like to Walk Through the Mind? Physicist and Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek describes walking through Bruce Munro’s Field of Light exhibit as being akin to visualizing how thought works in the mind. I love this idea of light as a metaphor for connection - thoughts connecting in our minds and people connecting sharing ideas across distance.

Thank you for being a part of this newsletter community.

Please feel free to share anything you are noticing or creating.

Respond to this email or share on Instagram with hashtag #papercolorearth

Thanks, Kathryn

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