My love affair with this website is deep and passionate. Dipping into light is a meditation on life’s bounty, paying homage to those who ventured into the Dark and returned with sparks of Light that has ennobled humanity.
The title of the website was inspired by the poet Mary Oliver, who portrayed prayer as, a dipping of oneself toward the light.1
When we acquire the necessary courage to venture into the Dark, the act turns into Prayer. The journey into the Dark is a journey of faith—rooted in the belief that forgiveness and compassion are woven into the very fabric of the universe.
The introduction of Light in biblical text, can be understood as a metaphor for the dawning of human consciousness. In essence, Light is what makes our species fully human—yet humans hold dual citizenship—not only to Light’s transformative power, but also to its faithful twin—the Dark, where embryos are nourished and dreams are formed. I do not view these as polar entities in terms of good vs. evil, but as complementary domains—each offering its unique gifts, and each, cross-pollinates with the other for the well-being of a vibrant, captivating life, overflowing with promise.
If light is a metaphor for human awakening, is it not reasonable to ask what is it pointing humanity to? The answer is the core meaning of existence—the fundamental “amen” of the universe, and it’s been shouting all along since inception: Love, Love, Love!. In the words of Henry Miller: If there is anything that deserves to be called miraculous, is it not love? What other power, what other mysterious force is there which can invest life with such undeniable splendor? The miracle which everyone is permitted to experience sometime in his life, the miracle, which demands no intervention, no intercession, no supreme exertion of will, the miracle which is open to the fool and the coward as well as the hero and saint, is love. Born of an instant, it lives eternally. And, in 1 John 3:14:We know we have passed from death unto life because we love.
Light is inexorably bound to Love, succinctly expressed by the poet Dylan Thomas, in these six words, Love is the last light spoken.
Light, like love, gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished. As conveyed by the spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all.
More on Light is found in the introduction to my retrospective book, Dipping Into Light; A Lifetime of Photography.
New York City, January 1, 2014
1Mary Oliver, (Winter Hours, Houghton Mifflin, 1999) 108.