There’s a crack in everything.

Through each one of us, life drifts with ebbs and flows, coasts along, sometimes falters, walks or jogs over long plateaus, passing bumpy hills and corrugations, occasionally coming upon a shimmering scene. Some of these, become— unforgettable moments, that always remain pinned inside our hearts. Stuck there to be hugged again in times of trouble. Let’s just call them starbursts of light. I have a few of them stuck deep inside me. When travelling from the Cape to Cairo in 1994, I managed to slip into Eritrea between two wars, the Eritrean War of Independence (1961-1991) and the Ethiopian-Eritrean War. (1998 -2000) One afternoon, lying on my bed in a totally dark room in the coastal city of Massawa, I noticed that a single bullet hole through the wood panelling projected the street scene outside to an inverted, albeit dimmer image across the back wall of the room. It was a moment of pure eureka-joy, the pin-hole camera showing the magic of physics and all that I have followed, my life long —- the capturing of objects and their reflected light on film and now electronic pixels. Then, some 24 years ago, this upside down scene, or inverted light, projected a sequel of camels and people walking along a market street in Massawa. It still feels like yesterday. I can see it, right in front of me, when I close my eyes. Glory be —-forever —- to all of this planet’s light! The sun’s electromagnetic radiation makes living possible, continuously, all the time, everywhere. Turn it off and we will all succumb to frozen darkness. Here then, is just a small celebration and homage to light and the life it sustains. In a darkened room in Geluksburg, a head torch, halogen spots in the ceiling and an LED torch squeeze light of different wavelengths of colour, through the gap in a door. As Leonard Cohen, my favourite singer-songwriter of all time sang: ‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’

Running shoes with bathroom light. Photographed in a B&B in Maramures County of Romania.


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