Autumn light—Slowing down and noticing

Autumn light—Slowing down and noticing

The earth revolves around the sun, and every day the light from the sun hits the earth at a different angle.

Auggie, Smoke (by Paul Auster, 1995)

I’ve been enjoying the way the warm autumn light illuminates the world test last couple of weeks. The way the colour of the leaves is given luminance by the particular quality of the light at a particular time of day. This same light shine through my windows and leave subtle shades of light and dark on the walls of our house. I love to pause and take these in — momentary works of art there to enjoy.

I was amused to see the artist Makoto Fujimura notice a similar thing recently. He’s been sharing on social media the way light falls on his artwork. Makoto connect this to the work of Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, ‘In praise of shadows’

post shared by @iamfujimura

It reminds me of the film “Smoke” —the Paul Auster movie with Harvey Keitel and William Hurt. There’s a poignant bit where Harvey Keitel’s character (Auggie) is showing William Hurt’s character (Paul) lots of photos of the same location — his cigar shop on the corner of a road in Brooklyn.

Auggie: It’s a record of my little spot.

Paul: It’s kind of overwhelming.

Auggie:  You’ll never get it if you don’t slow down, my friend.

Paul: What do you mean?

Auggie: I mean, you’re going too fast. You’re hardly even looking at the pictures.

Paul: But they’re all the same.                

Auggie: They’re all the same, but each one  is different from every other one.
You’ve got your bright mornings and your dark mornings.
You’ve got your summer light and your autumn light.
You’ve got your weekdays and your weekends.
You’ve got your people in overcoats and galoshes, and you’ve got your people in T-shirts and shorts.
Sometimes the same people, sometimes different ones.
And sometimes the different ones become the same, and the same ones disappear.
The earth revolves around the sun, and every day the light from the sun hits the earth at a different angle.

Paul: “Slow down, huh?”

Auggie: “… that’s what I’d recommend.
You know how it is.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
time creeps on its petty pace.”

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