It is 2:46 pm, EDT in Atlanta. Just in this moment, a day that began chilly, breezy, and gray turned instantly warmer and brighter, helped along by a gizmo in my ceiling called a Sola-Tube.
It’s a sort of sky light, really, but much easier to install than the more traditional versions in a pre-Seasonal Affective Disorder urban ranch house.
There’s a thing in the ceiling that resembles one of those toys kids love called a dragon fly’s eye with all the prisms in a circle. This, according to the manufacturer, is called the filter.
The filter is connected through your attic space by a thing that looks a lot like a very shiny dryer vent hose.
The shiny vent hose then connects to a light collector placed on the roof and aimed to gather southern light.
These things are magical. We have five of them in our house, spread out over a couple of major remodeling projects. I’d take at least four more in a minute.
Most of the time they just quietly hang out, not making a fuss, and adding very welcome, gentle light to a house that would be way too dark even if I wasn’t a quilter and painter who grew up in Florida.
On days like today, though, they remind me of the power of the filters through which we all experience the world.
Brighter and more hopeful, in what seems like an instant.
Or flashing with lightning on a dark and stormy night. (Ok, I’m a writer, too!)
I’ve been thinking about filters a lot lately.
It has a lot to do with a painting I’m working on. Or, perhaps, a painting that’s working on me.
The class is called Apothecary. As in the old-fashioned word for a place we might go to find medicines or other aids to healing.
We’ve been rooting around in our old stories. The ones that have defined us. The ones through which we filter our day-to-day experience. Many of them, hard ones.
Discovering symbols for those stories which changes, in the moment, the ways we relate to those stories.
And, each in our own way, claiming all of those stories in bringing us to this day.
Yep, all of them.
An old friend of mine has been singing along in the background while the drips of paint and scrubby brushes and vestiges of shame fall to the floor.
His name is Ken Medema and, if you don’t know it, his story is fascinating. I hope you’ll check it out.
For this minute, though, his music…in the midst of whatever day you’re having in whatever place you are.