The memory of that midsummer night is quickly fading and my mind's eye must squint for the scene to come into view again, fragmented and incomplete.
I can just see the subject in the foreground and how the light playing upon him, along with the quiet night, made for a breathtaking still life.
Just what shade of orange was it washing over the plateaus along the landscape of his back? Tangerine comes to mind.
I should have missed the color—sunburst orange?—what with the fine-lined paperback before me, stealing my vision.
It was the rustling leaves that beckoned, that had my eyes leaving the page to refocus on the chestnut tree outside and to the blue cypress hedge below before returning to the room, riding the night's breeze, to my husband slumbering beside me.
My mind watches now as the street light throws an orangey glow over the outspoken curves of his back. There, between darkness and lumière, I glimpse the drama of here and now.
I flip a page in the paperback... only to pause before the text: do the words that I am reading have as much mystery, beauty, or meaning?
I close my book and read the moment instead.
Terms & Expressions:
la lumière douce = soft light
à la lumière de la lune = by moonlight
un torrent de lumière = a flood of light
la lumière artificielle = artificial light
la lumière du jour = daylight
une année lumière = a light-year
And There Was Light tells the gripping, heroic story of the early life of Jacques Lusseyran, an inspiring individual who overcame the limitations of physical blindness by attending - literally - to the light within his own mind.
Ce n'est pas la lumière qui manque à notre regard, c'est notre regard qui manque de lumière. It is not the light which misses our gaze, it is our gaze which misses the light. --Gustave Thibon
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi