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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Light that Remains

J. finally went to the optometrist after many, many days of intense, burning pain in his left eye, a neurological nuclear explosion, sharp-nailed fingers digging into his brain - an angry steel needle jabbed into soft optic tissue.

“You didn’t come in with this right away, did you?” clucked the doctor as he pushed away the magnifying scope. “You thought it would just dissipate on its own, right?”

“Yes,” said J.  “How could you tell?”

The optometrist sat down upon a three-legged stool in front of J.  “What you’re feeling - that fire in your eye - is a discrete piece of sunlight caught in your retina. And we haven’t had sunlight for… well several months now.” He clucked again. “It’s really quite extraordinary. You should have come in sooner.”

Light is, of course, like everything in a quantum universe, both energy and particle, wave and mass moving, burning through the cold expanse of space.

“You have a single photon in there. Very small, but in this great darkness it is brilliant. “

“Is there anything we can do?” J. asked. “Can it be removed?”

“Good God in lux perpetua boy!  Why in hell would you want to do that? As dark as the days are now, all gloam and gloom?  And you ask if it can be removed. Do you want to extinguish the little light that remains?”

“But it hurts; it burns.”

“Of course it burns, you dim-witted fool. But it brightens as it burns, and enlivens as it lightens. The light of the body is the light of the world. Do you want to blind the whole world? The darkness that is descending on us is the deep outer darkness.”

“But, doctor…”

“No buts, boy. Let the light shine. Let it burn.”

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