how we need both light and dark


Yesterday, the new year: we spent the day at our friends' house. These are friends that we made upon our arrival to New Jersey, who we have kept despite moving thirty minutes away when we bought our house. Our son and their son are mates. Best friends. We get along splendidly with both parents. It's a good friendship.

M wanted to get back to work (writing) and so we dropped him off and Remy and I went over for a day of hanging out and playing and chatting. And then, at the end of the day (2:30), we picked M up at work and drove back home.


And the sky was just amazing as we drove back home. Blue, white, gray. I gave up the driver's seat so I could take these shots through the windows.

Along the way, Remy asked "what makes the Earth white?" and we had to parse out what he meant. M thought he meant the snow on the ground, but I thought he meant the cloud cover around the planet that makes our planet look blue and white (and green and brown) from space.

And then our resident doctor of perception (this is one of the courses my husband teaches) had to explain to us that the white is actually all of the colors together which went completely over Remy's head, but made my head spin yet again with the giddiness of theory...


It's so funny how from a painting/ printing point of view, white feels like the absence (and black like the fullness), but the reality of light is just the opposite.

And yet, in silhouette, I can see the absence of light in the shadows the trees make. And the light shines through clouds making them white because every color is reflected all at once (and sometimes that light splinters and gives us rainbows - or so I am going to imagine. Physics was not my strongest class in university, despite my having taken the dumbed-down "physics for humanity majors" class).

Oh, my head hurts thinking about it too much. But I can feel it, if I don't try to think too hard.


Photography is so much all about light and darkness and the interplay between the two. Even if I can't quite comprehend the particulars, I can see the results. Everything we can see, we see as a result of light. (Not to mention the energy produced by the light, which gives us air and food via trees and plants and water.)

And living is about light. And about darkness. It's about finding that right balance between just enough light and not enough. (Hello, extremely dumbed-down explanation of climate change. I am not actually making this shit up, I am just not explaining it scientifically.)

We need the light and we need the dark and we need them in just the right balance. And when the balance shifts, so does our climate. That isn't going to destroy the planet, but it will hurt us and it will make it difficult to live in certain places (that are right now very populated - which means that there will have to be mass migration, among other changes).


You may or may not not survive climate change. I may or may not survive. But the planet will survive. Until the sun expands in 6 billion years. (I like to think of it exploding, like a bigger star, but this page tells me it won't. Damn you scientists. This is why I'm a poet. In poetry, our sun can explode.)

Well, our planet might explode after being hit by a huge ass asteroid, but not this one, whew!

Meanwhile, we have this moment, right now.

We have darkness and we have light, both, and we need both. We need both to live, we need both to thrive. We need to find the right balance, and keep that balance, through the changing of our lives.

I hope you find your equilibrium.