A Study In Black

The color black has been maligned all through history, but I’ve been using one of the benefits of the arguably-ominous color  for years.  Most nights, when I close my eyes to attempt sleep, I’m deluged with a flood of images, pictures, scenes, and mental videos brought about by the thought of today’s events and tomorrow’s coming trials, and the accompanying problem-solving that my brain performs whether awake or asleep. Like many people, I think in pictures but it is extremely difficult to go to sleep with the chaos of racing picture-thoughts overstimulating my mind. The back of my eyelids should be a calm, restful, black, and not a screen for an action-adventure movie. So I devised a “device” by which I could stop thinking and turn off the projector. I began to visualize a blackboard which I could erase with a standard black eraser.

In case you are too young to know what a blackboard was ( I could be wrong, but it seems to me there are hardly any left these days, having been replaced by “green blackboards”, “whiteboards” and “smartboards”) it was a large piece of slate (which is a thin, black, kind of rock) cut into a large, thin rectangle and hung on the wall of a school room to be written on with chalk. Thus they were also called “chalkboards”,  and my educational life (all of it) was spent sitting in front of,  if considered in total,  The Great Wall of China in chalkboards.  Whether due to various punishments, or by choice sometimes, I erased lots of them.  I was good at it.  Obsessively so.  Thorough and meticulous beyond the call of duty.  So it came naturally to erase the blackboard behind my eyelids. If the pictures try to come back, I keep erasing them until I achieve a smooth, plush, black-velvety surface.  At first it required concentration and focus; persistence and perseverance.  With practice, it became much easier, almost second nature.  Now I associate the whole process with sleep.  It’s like biofeedback.  As soon as I get the “eraser” out, the thoughts and pictures flee and the next thing I know, it’s morning!

So, one recent morning I started thinking about “black”. ( Hahaha, some lead in, huh?)  Black is a strange thing.  It helps me sleep.  It is a color. It is also a non-color – a condition.  It depends on the source of the particular blackness we are considering.  In our normal day-to-day life, blackness is a color due to pigments which reflect or emit very, very, little light. Some people say that black contains all the known colors. That is false. Contrary to logic and even intuition, the truth is that white light contains all the colors.

When the source of blackness isn’t pigment, it is simply the absence of light.  In the first case, blackness is due to something we can see, and in the second case it is due to something we can’t see.  The subject can be made more complicated than that, but I’m trying to keep this simple. The scientist in me wants to go into voluminous detail here, but I will spare you that.  If you were wondering, I also want to make it clear that skin colors have absolutely no bearing on anything said here and will not be addressed here.  That is a separate subject, but I will say this: As far as I know, souls have no color.  It is only souls that matter.  In my book, God created them all and loves them all the same.

So, there are black objects and there are times and places that are dark because of the lack of light. I suddenly realized that most of us possess both of these categories of black things in a very obvious place – in the pupils of our eyes! As soon as I thought of that, I rushed to the mirror and stared at my own pupils – the portals through which light enters my physical being, to be focused through a dark place, to enable me to perceive it. I was observing light entering that dark part of myself by using that very same dark part! I stared in awe for a long time just thinking of the interplay and relationship between light and darkness. The paradox, the mystery, the epiphany I felt was an astounding experience – a wonder – you should try it!   

I could go on and on, because that is what I do, but, in the interest of getting to the point, I will simply list some of my thoughts about “black”, and “darkness” for you to think about.  Yes, as usual, I actually have a point.

Black is the color of darkness.

Black and darkness are synonymous, but are different.

Black is the color of these words; of this study.

{Methinks “A Study In Black”

Used black ink to write all that.}

Black-darkness gives context and lends contrast to light – helps to define light.

Black is the canvas on which lights are painted, the milieu in which the galaxies stew.

Black is the tapestry on which the epic Story of Light is recorded.

Black is the blanket which tried in vain to cover and smother the power of The Light.

Black is the substance of light hoped for, the evidence of bright glories unseen.

How could light run and play, spin and dance, without its expansive playground of darkness?

Light was the first thing created.  Does it go unsaid that darkness had to be put in place first, to provide light with a place to be?

The brothers Black and Darkness have lots of negative connotations associated with them, but I like them.

{They help me to sleep.

They help me to write.

They inhabit my eyes.

They help me see light….}

And Darkness saw the light, but could not apprehend it, comprehend it, understand it, nor perceive it.  Darkness opposed the light, but could not overwhelm it, cover it, extinguish it, overtake it, overcome it, nor overpower it.

I have to wonder if, on that darkest day on Calvary, when all Heaven and Earth despaired, perhaps all Creation’s Light hid itself in its grief and mourning, returning only when The Life returned…….

God’s creation of the color black and the condition called darkness surpasses our understanding, yet, we can be certain that it serves His purposes for the good of those who love Him.

Here’s the point.  Even in considering darkness and blackness, I point to God and glorify Him with this writing.  God created darkness, and, in my opinion, He created blackness, among numerous other reasons, to give the darkness a color. Faith tells me that He had reasons and purposes for darkness that we, as creatures of The Light, don’t fully appreciate nor understand.

Isaiah 14:24   The Lord Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.

Isaiah 55:9  “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”

Just as the crisp, dark, night sky and the deep-cold, empty black of space help me to see the piercing light of the far stars and planets, so does the invisible black-darkness of the opposition make clear the penetrating Light of My Life, Jesus Christ.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. My Father's Child
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 12:44:18

    Reblogged this on inspiredannotation and commented:
    Inspiration to share from my beloved cousin. I love your writing, sir! It’s like looking through my own window.


  2. My Father's Child
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 12:41:47

    Oh, dear cousin, we really are related!! This is the only means by which I also am able to find sleep! Such a surprise and not a surprise that we have yet another thing in common. I love you.


    • gloryteller
      Feb 24, 2012 @ 08:18:28

      Yes we are! In more ways than one, right? Thank you for commenting, dear cousin. Comments are all too sparse in my blogging/briteing world. Love, L<

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