"Hikari" by Bodhi Smith

the unknown
the darkness
the shadows
hikari--the light
the path
the clarity
sometimes i'm more comfortable in the shadows. the darkness makes the light glow into me more definitively, more clearly. it's the darkness that shows me the light ― bodhi, hikari

delicately strong and beautifully graceful, this japanese maple tree soaks in the late afternoon sun...basking in all its radiant colors, this petite tree is showing us how to embrace "hikari" (the japanese word meaning "the light"), love its brilliance unconditionally, knowing its glow is the path through the darkness to where we need to go in this life and beyond with certainty...
if the light is in your heart, you will find your way home ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi
in the dark of the night, i dream wonderful dreams. they feed my spirit and sate me with hope and peace, and love...i have faith in finding hikari each morning as soon as i open my eyes...because i believe the darkness always shows me the way to the light...
but these past few years it feels like there is more darkness than light in me. and i've gravitated to this darkness, because i've found it's much easier to live in the lonely shadows of yourself...sometimes its easier to be sad than happy. to be lonely rather than with someone.  it's safer to be sad, alone, and in the dark. there's nobody that can disappoint you, let you down, or hurt you, there's only yourself...
but i crave hikari...the light is still there, both inside and out, no matter how far i go into the shadows. it's right there in my heart, filling my soul with those three pillars of life i need: hope, love, and faith....but i crave the darkness too, because for me it's through the lessons in the darkness that i always find the light...
in me there is darkness, but with you there is light; i am lonely, but you do not leave me; i am feeble in heart, but with you there is help; i am restless, but with you there is peace ― dietrich bonhoeffer, letters and papers
however, we must be cautious about craving the darkness. remember, there's a deep dark danger living in the shadows...we could get lost in the darkness if despair sets in to stay, and then hurting ourselves becomes a reality if we lose the light...so it's imperative that we maintain a nice balance of both the light and the dark in our life. too much of one and not enough of the other could lead to disastrous consequences...
i've learned to embrace both darkness and the light piecing it...we need both the light and the darkness surrounding it in our life to have meaning, and be able to understand that meaning and the path we need to lead...just like in order to justify its meaning, the darkness needs the light--likewise and equally, the light needs the darkness to discover its meaning. they are the real the yin and the yang in our lives...
i need the light in my life. each day i need that bold little mixture of sparkle and glow to shine into my peaceful quiet darkness ― bodhi, hikari
released the same year i took this impression a few years ago in 2016, here's a truly magical song about needing the darkness in your life to find the light, such deeply resonating lyrics backed by haunting keyboards, unconditionally powerful guitar chords, and a towering vocal by lead singer david draiman...for the music video, the band selected to tell the story of a firefighter who suffers disfiguring burns after being trapped in a blaze but finds hope by falling in love with his rehabilitation nurse. meanwhile, disturbed performs in front of a burning building...with its message and powerful melody, the song is easily one of my all-time favorite tunes in any genre by any band, one which never gets old for me no matter how many times i listen to it... "the light" by disturbed.
like an unsung melody, the truth is waiting there for you to find it. it's not a blight, but a remedy, a clear reminder of how it began deep inside your memory. turned away as you struggled to find it, you heard the call as you walked away--a voice of calm from within the silence. and for what seemed an eternity, you're waiting, hoping it would call out again. you heard the shadow reckoning, then your fears seemed to keep you blinded. you held your guard as you walked away...when you think all is forsaken, listen to me now (all is not forsaken)--you need never feel broken again--sometimes darkness can show you the light...an unforgivable tragedy, the answer isn't where you think you'd find it. prepare yourself for the reckoning. for when your world seems to crumble again, don't be afraid, don't turn away, you're the one who can redefine it. don't let hope become a memory. let the shadow permeate your mind and reveal the thoughts that were tucked away, so that the door can be opened again. within your darkest memories lies the answer if you dare to find it. don't let hope become a memory...when you think all is forsaken, listen to me now (all is not forsaken)--you need never feel broken again--sometimes darkness can show you the light...sickening, weakening, don't let another somber pariah consume your soul. you need strengthening, toughening. it takes an inner dark to rekindle the fire burning in you, ignite the fire within you...when you think all is forsaken, listen to me now (all is not forsaken)--you need never feel broken again--sometimes darkness can show you the light...don't ignore, listen to me now (all is not forsaken). you need never feel broken again, sometimes darkness can show you the light disturbed, the light.
the message for the light is one of positivity. most people are quite apprehensive about the dark periods, and experiences of their lives. however, sometimes those dark periods of time are a necessary path we must take in order to finally see, 'the light,' so to speak...go figure--a disturbed song with an air of positivity. who would have ever thought? 

you know, the only way that you get to appreciate the darkness is by contrasting it with light. i think people have utilized our music in particular to get them through the difficult periods in their lives, to triumph against adversity, to overcome obstacles. and it's been my experience, with people in my life, or friends that i have or have had, that sometimes those periods in our lives that are dark ones can be so daunting and you let them overwhelm you to the extent that you succumb to hopelessness and you succumb to stagnation. and the truth be told, everything is a pathway. sometimes you have to go through dark periods in your life in order to find the answer that you need, in order to become stronger, in order to see the light, per se. and it's just putting things in that perspective
i think that i shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree.
a tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
a tree that looks at god all day
and lifts her leafy arms to pray;

a tree that may in summer wear
a nest of robins in her hair;

upon whose bosom snow has lain;
who intimately lives with rain.

poems are made by fools like me,
but only god can make a tree.
i thank you god for this most amazing day, being with you, and for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky, and for the light, and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes ― e.e. cummings
nature's own masterpieces will never go away. if i am able to cast just a few of them in favorable light, and convince you, the viewer, to look at them again with greater appreciation and perhaps a fresh perspective, then i have succeeded as an artist ― scott l. christensen, what about free will?
keep your spirits high in the branches of a tree and do not peek out too far ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi
when the light returns to its source, it takes nothing of what it has illuminated ― jalaluddin rumi, bridge to the soul
in your light, i learn how to love. in your beauty, how to make poems. you dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes i do, and that sight becomes this art ― jalaluddin rumi, in the arms of the beloved
the tree tops whisper your name to the stars when i'm missing you the most. your shadow is observing me... it all reminds me how much more my life glows in your presence  ― bodhi, glowing
a tree cannot move much, but oh my god, how they move me so much  ― bodhi, a tree
this tree is both delicate and majestic at the same time...having a commanding presence but still being able to blend in with the less noticed background, mingle in, devoid from all the noise of motion and movement elsewhere. she is a splendid duality of being both assertive and meek, both real and transcendent...how could i not fall in love with her light instantly?   ― bodhi, gift of namaste
and now here is a beautiful song about making a difference in this world by living your life morally, peacefully, and lovingly... "be a light" by thomas rhett.
in a time full of war, be peace. in a time full of doubt, just believe. yeah, there ain't that much difference between you and me. in a time full of war, be peace. in a world full of hate, be a light. when you do somebody wrong, make it right. don't hide in the dark, you were born to shine. in a world full of hate, be a light. in a place that needs change, make a difference. in a time full of noise, just listen. because life is but a breeze, better live it. in a place that needs a change, make a difference. in a world full of hate, be a light. when you do somebody wrong, make it right. oh, don't hide in the dark, you were born to shine. in a world full of hate, be a light. in a race that you can't win, slow it down. yeah, you only get one go around. because the finish line is six feet in the ground. in a race you can't win, just slow it down. in a world full of hate, be a light. when you do somebody wrong, make it right. don't hide in the dark, you were born to shine. in a world full of hate, be a light. yeah, it's hard to live in color, when you just see black and white. in a world full of hate, be a light ― thomas rhett, be a light.
i crave hikari...the light is still there both inside and out, no matter how far i go into the shadows. it's right there in my heart, filling my soul with those three pillars of life i need: hope, love, and faith. but i crave the darkness too, because for me, it's through the lessons in the darkness that i always find the light ― bodhi, hikari
this is a beautiful impression of a famous japanese maple tree, and was captured at the japanese garden in portland, oregon on october 3, 2016 at 3:03pm pst...the composition consists of a single exposure (f/8@24mm for 11 sec, iso-64) using the idea of selective focus--purposefully permitting part of the image in the foreground to be out of focus and blurry, giving the same impression in a photo of how we see things with our own eyes...
in my photography, i always use filters to create longer exposure effects, saturate colors naturally, and balance the light in my composition in-camera...i often use as many as four filters at time, and i always use at least one filter in my completed impressions...
to get the effects and balance i was looking for i used two progreyusa filters. along with the progrey g-120z antarctic magnetic holder. to secure these filters to my nikon d850 with a nikon nikkor 24mm f/1.4 prime lens. ... 
first, a 3.0 nd progrey antarctica filter. (permitting for the long 11 second exposure) to bring the light in the image down 10 stops and allow for some motion blurring of the outer leaves on the tree, along with naturally saturating all the red, green, and blue (rgb) colors in the image...
combined with the second filter,  a 0.9 gnd progrey aurora filter. to help balance in-camera overall the image the way i envisioned it...in this case, to stop down the much brighter light in the upper right-hand portion of the frame from the sunshine breaking through the leaves an extra three stops and help permit for an even exposure of the entire frame... 
i wish to openly thank my sponsors who have always supported me through both the good and bad times...for truly this long exposure impression would not be possible without the use of my induro phq3 series 5-way panhead with an induro (now benro) stealth carbon fiber tripod. in combination with the progreyusa filters. which i use with every photo i take...
contemplate without thinking. be certain only in your uncertainty, content to be completely incomplete. stop the rush. slow down time. breathe and notice. slow down everything. let it all be. shut off the noise. hush. relax. seize this higher moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colours of light whisper as they envelope you. see the melody and harmony that float about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence. now discover your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith with all your senses. this is my world. awaken! ― bodhi, my world
you were blessed with 84,600 seconds today, have you used one of them to say thank you? ― bodhi, blessed
leave you today wishing that bright joy 
and spiritual peace fill your life...
imploring you to make every moment count, 
no matter what, always and forever, 
for that is the only thing that truly matters... 
and above all else,
i hope this message and impression find you well.
please visit me at:
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