Time to bring out the old light panel, even though the days are getting perceptibly longer. Still now enough light in my eyes to lift my spirits the way spring does. I bought this natural light panel that you look into for a half hour each day and it does something indescribable to your feelings. So of course I had to try to describe it in this prose poem, now appearing in the current issue of Spirits, out of Indiana University Northwest.
The Pearl. Every morning for an hour, I stare into a row of fluorescent tubes called a Brite-Wave, remedy for a part of brain that has forgotten how to bloom these winter mornings. Following printed directions, I gaze as if floating in the mother-of-pearl pool I once swam in at an Arizona resort at midnight, floating in opalescence beneath the vaulted dark. Light sears my retina with atoms. They are supposed to pry open the sleeping folds. For thirty minutes a day this beam raises my mental sun. The manual advises glancing occasionally, but more and more I am compelled to stare, and the effects are noticeable. The first morning I can barely lift my coffee cup while watching the light. The day after, I pedal my wheeling thoughts into star-fields. A week in, and I am bobbing in a raft on foaming waves. Two weeks, and I can backstroke any foggy morning, do laps despite the rain. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to shove old Sol aside and with my own focused stare illuminate the parking lot.