Daily mythology: Light

I remember a day when we stood in Weston-Super-Mare at the mouth of the Severn near Bristol, Barry-island at the horizon. Suddenly Philip said – and it was like a request to save the world: “Mister Thomas, light a match!”

Long ago in school we had to write  a composition, the subject was a quote of Kant: “It is better to light a small light than to bluster about the big darkness!”

Yesterday I saw a report about Vertical Farming. Salad was grown inside laboratories – to be grown inside buildings in future – and the scientist said: we try to copy the sunlight; of course the sunlight is the ideal light! In fact plants here on earth grow in the sunlight and we humans couldn’t live without it neither.

As I am standing up early in the morning now in wintertime it’s still dark outside (“Baby, it’s cold outside!”). Preoccupated with my writings I saw after a while, that it was still dark outside. I felt deep panic imagining that the light never would come back! In fact our lives depend on it, furthermore we forget that we would be invisible in the dark!

The Canadian photographer Jeff Wall quotes in his work “After ‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison” some bits of Ellison’s novel “The invisible man”: “And I love the light. Maybe it sounds queer, that an invisible is yearning for light. But it is logic, because I am invisible. Light proves my identity, delivers my figure. Without light I am not only invisible, but shapeless. And who is not aware of his shape is a living dead… Light is truth and truth is light.”

Jeff Wall photograph shows a man sitting in a fully enlightened room, with hundreds of lightbulbs


Ah, Enlightenment! I hope we didn’t forget you. In fact “light” is tightly connected to “seeing”. Don’t we say “The sun sees everything?” And to see means to think?

The last words of Goethe were “More light, please!” Then he died.


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