Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Sudden Shelter of Light

There's something magical about finding yourself in a place the moment the street lights switch on to illuminate the night. Like seeing the sun rise against the buildings of New York City as the 1 train emerges from underground on my way to Columbia softball practice, it happens every day but will never lose its power over me.

Maybe it's the idea of a grand system reliably engaging at the exact same moment before the sun drops away, or maybe it's the fact that I tend to find meaning in even the smallest of events. To me though, there's something personal in being one of the few who actually notices the lights turning on.

Blink and you might miss it, but try too hard to see it intentionally and the moment loses its pleasurable element of surprise.

Like glancing at your watch the moment the clock changes to bring in a new day or standing in a liminal space only to find that you do in fact belong somewhere, the lights provide simple solutions and respite. Both reliable and shocking, the lights illuminate our paths as we proceed through the night. Just before we find ourselves lost in the dark, boom.

They're on.

Feeling like part of the moment when the street lamps first shed light on the life below is like receiving a gift. Whether it's mere coincidence or something that was meant to be is beyond me. But being a part of that moment is like finding that someone important has suddenly illuminated your life. Blink and you could have missed it, but for some reason it's there and it's obvious.

It's almost as if you never had to look. It just happened while you were living and now everything is different.

May we all stay illuminated.

-- Lauren Proctor

Photo Caption: A view of the Brooklyn Bridge at an outdoor showing of The Shining.

I may be lost (or found) in the lights, but I haven't forgotten your music. I've been obsessed with Joshua Radin's new album "Simple Times" as of late and I feel like it matches the tone of this post, so I'm going to go ahead and recommend him.

He's not particularly obscure, but for good reason. You can stream the album at the link I provided above, or watch the YouTube video below for a faily good live recording of a couple of his songs.

Joshua Radin - "One of Those Days" and "Brand New Day"
"Best New Day" might be my favorite song off the new album.

Joshua Radin - "Vegetable Car"
Based off of a hook that would even convert Dracula, this lighthearted ditty is as sweet as songwriting gets these days.