• shelisloterbeek

Stay With the Light



"You have to be present with the light" she said.


And in that instant I smiled and I knew I was in good company.


A few months ago I signed up for a class to learn how to weld. I'd been around welding before, but it still freaked me out a little. The gas, the sparking, the hot liquid metal, the electricity all seemed like a lethal combination when mixed together. But after we started I soon realized that I probably wasn't going to set myself on fire or burn my eyes out.


What I noticed during my time was the importance of looking at the light. In welding the mask makes every black until you strike the arc and begin melting one metal into the other. The metal coming out of the contact tube so bright that is all you see - and our instructions were to go against our instincts - to look directly at the bright light and only glance in the periphery at what was around. To be present with the light. It was no use trying to look at where you had been or where you were going, the only place you can see is right where you are. There is no knowing where the end of the metal is. All that can be seen is right where you are.


There is an enormous trust that must be put in looking at the Light. To gaze at the Light and only glance at the periphery of what is illuminated. Trust for the moment. Trust for the day. Trust for the unseen foggy future.


As the metals heat and melt together they take on the properties of each other. As I look toward the Light, keeping presence, my metal takes on the properties of the metal it is being welded to. The metal is the proof of my mettle, but only as I stay with the Light.


The point of Light exposes

everything directly

where it is placed


There is only here

only now

only trust


The darkness is

also present

beyond the glow


Be present

with the Light

and changing.


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