When changing after work this afternoon, I turned on the bedside lamp and noticed a cool effect. I have a green candle in a silver saucer-type holder on the dresser next to my bed. I put some glass beads I found outside around it. It looks pretty on the lavender cloth on the dresser’s top.
In front of my jewelry box and next to the candle I put a collection of Lewis Carroll’s greatest hits. The pink cover is gilded in spots, such as Alice’s hair and other highlights. A few of the glass beads had fallen off the saucer and caught the light. With the gilt cover of the book, they made a fanciful picture.
This is a bit staged, as I moved everything off that end of the dresser and scattered the beads around the book, playing with the light to get it just right. I think it looks like bubbles around the book.
Colors change in the light. In fact, without light colors don’t exist. That discovery astounded me and was my first encounter with the transient nature of the world. In a few moments, an ordinary pair of objects made a silly and childlike picture. The moments pass quickly, and they should be enjoyed and savored.
When you look at something and it looks like something else, how do you describe it? Like this?
I put the glass beads around the book, where they reflected the light in cool contrast to the warmth of Alice’s hair.
You can do this:
Cheshire hovers over the girl, surrounded by ethereally iridescent bubbles of gleam, with Humpty and the Rabbit guarding. Alice looks askance at the steam droplets, which have escaped from her kettle and are growing. Even in this place, how could this be normal? No one else is concerned. They haven’t noticed how golden the light has become, the herald of yet another change. She braces for yet another topsy-turvey physics lesson. Dear me, how tiresome.
Watch, see the light in the day, first thing in the morning, both sunlight and artificial. See how it changes things. Familiar becomes strange, ordinary sublime. Reality fades to fantasy and back again. See it, mark it, and use your best language to capture it. Let it change how you think about what you see.