The Measure of Light

The shade of your eyes reveals to me what transpires within you.  You look at me and you speak. Your body language gives you away, but the shade of the eyes, that darkens when you storm inside and brightens when you soften, suffices. Most people think that the measure of light depends on the the sun that hangs in the sky, and this is a tempting thought to cling to. I too clung to that thought until I’ve recognized your glance and mapped it. Or actually it mapped itself for me. At first it seemed to me as a one-time delusion. I mean, I noticed it but I dismissed it with scorn which logic alone knows how to produce.

After mapping your sea I began to look for it on my palette. I mixed browns, at times I added burgundy or yellow or purple, and after endless scampering of brushes, spatulas and fingers I’ve reached a proximity of the dark shade that portrays the storm. I knew that from here to the bright shade lies a rocky road. If only for the simple reason that this shade does not emerge as often. And like the woman in the lighthouse that has no control over the sea, only over her own will to be in the lighthouse, I knew that as long as I continue to be magnetized to it, from time to time a measure of light may glow from within you, that would change the shade of the eyes, soften the glance, and allow me to study it.

And then something surprising occurred. I don’t remember what we spoke about but you stormed, and as they would, your eyes went dark. I don’t know how to explain what happened later. In retrospect, tracking the incident and the memory, I can only describe it. You stood against me, bent forward towards the table, both your hands leaning on it, and your body turned to me. I sat on the opposite side of the table. You started dark, as mentioned, and I stared at the dark. Perhaps because it was anticipated, or maybe because I’ve already found the dark on the palette, or for a reason unknown to me – this time I had not felt the magnet within me. A few seconds later, to my surprise, the eyes became brighter. I have no explanation for that. I remember that I noticed it and it really surprised me. You kept on talking but I no longer heard a word of it. Something very strange had happened. I guess such things can happen to the woman in the lighthouse as well. Strange things happen right before our eyes, unexpectedly, and pull towards them like a whirlpool, truly drawing us in.

If I remember well, that right the same day, when I returned to the studio, I mixed varying shades of gold into the brown. A lot of gold had to be added to a little amount of the brown to make it glow, it was as if to warm and caress it at the same time. And because I felt that way while mixing, I started singing to it. At times there were no words, just a melody. The gold, slowly drawn out to its song, gently blended itself into the brown. A gold puddle, a drop of brown. Like the first composition of the Gymnopédies by Satie, that resonates within me a lake in a thick wood,  that is set under a heavy fog and slowly drip-drops into it. I was a tool in the gold’s hands, and it directed my hand to whichever color-box it needed. I remember that at some point I closed my eyes, listened to the silent melody flowing from me and gave myself in to the motions the gold formed within me. I was you, we were the gold, crystallizing itself to the measure of light while spreading.

I don’t know how long I was in it. I remember coming back to a sense of time and place, I felt saturated in complete wholeness and wrapped in it. I looked around. On the floor there was one splash of color that reminded me of the bright shade that sometimes emerges to your eyes. But everything was so saturated, as if there is no measure to light.

April 29, 2017, © Lior Reizel