Without light, there would be no shadows and without shadows we would not be able to see that there was light. There is a sort of poetry in the fact that one cannot exist without the other to define it. And yet we usually choose light over dark. We have been told to do it from birth. Seek the light, come out of the darkness. What fairytale would contradict that danger lurks in darkness and light is the domain of safety?
But if light was everywhere and there were no shadows, life would not be so good. We would stumble over rocks, unable to see them against the background. Without shadows, we would not be able to see into the distance, everything would be near and far at the same time. And eternal light would offer us little comfort when it came time to rest.
But if it was dark everywhere and there was no light, life would not be so good. We would stumble over rocks, unable to see them against the background. Without light, we would not be able to see into the distance, everything would be near and far at the same time. And eternal darkness would offer us little comfort after rest.
Where the stories reside
And so it is with art and artifacts. An object that captures our interest does not reveal all its mystery in a single glance. It conceals some of its nature in corners or crevices, withholding some of its true self from the light. Not that it has anything unsavory to hide, but rather a story to tell. A story that unfolds as we get closer and our eyes adjust to the fading light. In the way that a spiral shell with a darkened entrance can make you wonder what lurks or lurked within.
The absence of light creates intrigue and our interest is triggered by something caught in the light.
But if light and shade were everywhere, life would be good. Like it is…
Shade and light.