I am a long-time lover of William Faulkner novels. We share a fondness for the unique quality of light in August, which manifests much differently than in earlier months. The experimental dahlia garden which graces a park close to my home is exquisite at 6:30 p.m. on late August days. I return to the garden often during this season to luxuriate in the varying hues until sunset . At 6:45 the chartreuse dahlias are rivaled only by the pulsing incandescence of the “Clara Maria” at 7:30.
When asked about the title of his novel Light in August, William Faulkner said
“. . .in August in Mississippi there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times. It might have fauns and satyrs and the gods and—from Greece, from Olympus in it somewhere. It lasts just for a day or two, then it’s gone. . .the title reminded me of that time, of a luminosity older than our Christian civilization.”
― William Faulkner
“…a luminosity older than our Christian civilization. ” As a spiritual practice this August I am letting its light lure me into a luminosity beyond time, a luminosity so brilliant as to dim the rancid ranting of political campaigns and endless wars.
Catch the light:
Read, watch, listen to only enough news to inform and educate; don’t wallow in endless repetitons designed to stir-up and push down. Transform data into empathy.
Discuss sparingly pray often.
Work toward personal enlightenment by honest self-reflection on attitudes and behaviors that dim the light and cast shadows on others’ light.
Mantra: Breathing in I am Light
Breathing out I release darkness.
Say this when luminosity begins to fade.
Intentionally create opportunities for laughter and play. Meister Eckhart says, “God laughs and plays.”
Welcome to August!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50879678@N03/12796147483″>Dahlia, Walled Garden, parc de Culzean Castle, Maybole, South Ayrshire, Ecosse, Grande-Bretagne, Royaume-Uni.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
2 thoughts on ““Light in August””
Your post today is timely.. Thank you. I have such reverence for August — and now happens to be a time when I’m feeling immense sadness and lack of hope. But I will persevere and catch the light of the most beautiful time of year as much as I can.
thank you, Renee. We are in it together.