Reaching for The White Light

by Barbara Roman

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Posted by BRoman
(AUTHOR NOTE: This essay led to the creation of my latest children's book, "Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13." I hope you will enjoy reading and reviewing my book.)

Have you ever noticed how people are like light bulbs? They come in many sizes and shapes, varying in their intensity and in their ability to bring us out of the darkness that hovers over us.

For example, we have all met a Dim Bulb. This one offers the faint promise of light, but casts off shadows instead, making it difficult for us to see clearly. Sometimes we are forced to sit under the dull glow of this bulb, for there is no other light available. Or so we think But if we are wise, we will switch it off, sit quietly in the dark, and wait for the dawn to break in our hearts. And when it does, we realize this bulb was not an emanator of true light.

The Three-Way Bulb, on the other hand, is certainly never dull. This one can brighten and dwindle with equal aplomb. You may find it frustrating to deal with this bulb, especially if it glows hot while you need a softer light, or if you are operating at peak energy and the bulb prefers to preserve its own. Then again, it can be fascinating, if you are an adventurous soul, to try and catch this bulb at just that precise moment when its brightness matches yours. But it rarely happens.

The Flickering Bulb has a maddening, inconsistent beam. It’s uncertain whether it wants to stay on or off. Usually, this bulb lets go with a surge of power that almost exceeds its wattage, but it dims just before it burns out. Unless this bulb learns to equalize its glow, it will eventually flicker and die, leaving you to mourn its passing while you search for a candle to help you find your way.

Every day is Christmas for the Twinkle Light Bulb. It really isn’t very bright, but it certainly is consistent. It just keeps popping off happy, spirited little flashes of illumination hour after hour, no matter what adverse conditions are in its environment. If you concentrate on this bulb long enough, you may find its glimmer contagious, and soon you’ll be simulating its sparkle. But, after awhile, the undaunted glitter becomes more than mere mortals can bear. In a fit of Scrooge-itis, we are moved to pull the Twinkle light out of its socket. Even Christmas cheer can be over done.

The Flood Lamp is a bulb of overpowering brilliance. It beams and shines and radiates with an obtrusive persistence. No matter which direction you move, you can’t escape its blinding glare. This bulb never dims, flickers or fades, but instead of energizing you, its intruding presence leaves you weary and praying for a power blackout. The Flood Lamp never shows you the way, but obscures it with its demanding desire to dazzle.

Then, there is the Long-Life Bulb. It’s a rather versatile light - sometimes hot and fiery, other times warm and soothing. It’s never so bright that it hurts to look at it, yet it never dwindles. Rather, it softens and yields to your needs for just the right light at the right time. And even if you pull the shades, draw the curtains, or cover your eyes in fear and self pity, its comforting rays are there, gently lifting you up to it until once again you bask in its captivating glow. Because it emanates a fine light, it penetrates your body and filters into your soul, making you, yourself, shine from within. You can never replace this bulb, for it is unique. Oh, you may find other kinds of bulbs that brighten your life now and then, but none like this one. And even when you think it has gone out, and left you stumbling in the darkness, all you need do is remember it, envision it as it once was, and its radiance will be there, white and pure and all encompassing.

Yes, there are many different kinds of Bulbs in the world, but only One True Light. If you are lucky enough to find it, reach out and touch it, unafraid.

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