Solstice is almost here. The light has arrived, I tell you. The abundance of light at this time of year can be disconcerting, at least for me. How do Icelanders handle their solstices? It would be hard on me.
I've been thinking about Sir Isaac Newton, someone who thought a lot about light, who channeled the laws of physics while hiding out in a cottage, trying (and succeeding) to avoid the Black Death or whatever hideous plague was going around then. He took with him a book of 600 blank pages, a very precious and unusual thing during the 17th century, expensive as hell if you could even find one to buy. He holed up at the cottage, poked himself in the eye, watched Brother Sun, did a lot of thinking. He was a really weird guy. He also made all his own tools and prisms. No doubt he did some great thinking while making his tools. Then he wrote. Much of what he wrote is still considered rock solid in the world of science. He was a real mystic.
Sometimes I like to plow through his writings - just a little bit, just a peek here and there. Reading too much of it makes my eyes cross, but the bits that come through reveal his genius.
I shall without further ceremony acquaint you, that in the beginning of the Year 1666, (at which time I applied my self to the grinding of Optick glasses of other figures than Spherical,) I procured me a Triangular glass-prisms, to try therewith the celebrated Phaenomena of Colours. And in order thereto having darkened my chamber, and made a small hole in my window-shuts, to let in a convenient quantity of the Suns light, I placed my Prisme at his entrance, that it might be thereby refracted to the opposite wall. It was at first a very pleasing divertissement, to view the vivid and intense colous produced thereby.
Did people think like that back then, with herewiths and therebys? Or was it just the style of writing?
I'm coinciding with rainbows right and left since returning from Paris. If it had been just once or twice, I probably wouldn't think much about it. It is solstice, there is a lot of light and a lot of glass in my environment, hence the refractions are abundant. I notice and enjoy the Phaenomena of Colours, but I can't remember coinciding with them as frequently in the past. Everywhere I go, it seems, I am stepping into a rainbow. This is a shift from the usual pattern, hence I'm paying attention. I have no doubt that the rainbow connection is auspicious. What could ever be wrong with rainbows?
The encounters have been like scenes from a movie. One day, standing in line at the coffee shop, a woman behind me in line said, I hope this doesn't sound weird. A rainbow is tapping you on the shoulder. Indeed I was standing in the perfect spot, at the perfect time of day, at the perfect time of year, so that the Suns light forthwith refracted through a window Prisme, creating a very pleasing divertissement, the Phaenomena of Colours, that without further ceremony fell therewith on my shoulder. It was one of those you-can't-make-it-up moments, in particular because it's not normal behavior in DC to tell a stranger a rainbow is tapping them on the shoulder.
A rainbow tapped me on the shoulder? C'mon.
A couple of weeks before Solstice, the sun moves far enough north to shine through my kitchen window for a few minutes in the late afternoon, filling my kitchen with rainbows. Oh that Phaenomena of Colours!
I liked the idea of a selfie with the rainbows, had no idea that it would come out as if someone had placed a hand on my forehead. It's a left hand, gently making contact. Is it a Vulcan mind meld? It looks like a magical blessing to me.
The rainbows are blessing me and probably giving me a lot of great information. I wonder what they're teaching me. Do you know?