“#thelightineverything” is an ongoing light study video and photo series. During the production of my documentary Ora et Labora, filming with Trappist monks and constantly reading books on contemplative lifestyles, I became enamored with meditating on and capturing light. Two books in particular inspired the series. Annie Dillard’s Pulitzer prize winning “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” inspired me to find the “tree with the lights in it:”
“Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance… I had my whole life been a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.”
In addition, Richard Rohr’s “The Universal Christ,” is a theological study of “panentheism,” the belief that God/spirit/divinity exists within everything. Rohr writes about Christmas trees as a visual metaphor for this expression, that “every tree should be decorated with lights to show that it’s filled with light anyway.”
An expression of this “panentheistic” thought, #thelightineverything hopes to capture the divine in the mundane. Light, magic, warmth, and wonder on a weekday afternoon.