Nightlight by Bodhi Smith

"nightlight" a new impression from bodhi smith...

"step after step to find this frame in time, a nightlight illuminated me on this night, lighting me up and further helping me to continue to find my way, find meaning and discover my purpose, and my own light glowing inside me"
― bodhinku, nightlight 

"if each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned

we need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness,
and fish for fallen light
with patience” 
― pablo nerudai explain a few colorful things
“the purpose of light is to create more light, to open people's eyes, to reveal the marvels in the darkness all around” ― paulo coelho, the alchemist
“there is a crack in everything. that's how the light gets in” ― leonard cohen, selected poems 1956-1968  
“night air, good conversation, and a sky full of the moon and stars can heal almost anything" ― beau taplin  
“if only one keeps loving faithfully what is truly worth loving, and does not squander one's love on trivial and insignificant and meaningless things, then one will gradually obtain more and more light and grow brighter and stronger" ― vincent van gogh, the letters of vincent 
btw, here is an empowering sanguine tune that is quite apropos, with optimistic and impassioned lyrics, "the light" by disturbed which you can listen to as you read my blog (just click on the song title, it is a link to the lyric video)...

"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 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 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....
beautiful, 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...." ― disturbed, the light
"when i was a little boy, i needed my speedracer nightlight plugged into its wall outlet next to the bed to keep me calm in the darkness, so i could relax and fall as a grown man, i find that i am no different, just my nightlight is now a person" ― bodhinku, my nightlight  
“some nights stay up till dawn, as the moon sometimes does for the sun. be a full bucket pulled up the dark way of a well, then lifted out into light.”― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
"i had a dream of you last night, i was all alone in the desert, surrounded by darkness on a desolate playa, and then you came to me and gave me light, you were the moon...i knew it was you, for you were the brightest of all the heavenly bodies, and something of this sort of certainty come but once in a lifetime" ― bodhinku, i had a dream 
i think the meaning behind this image has a profound beauty to it...simply put, when i stand in the darkness, i need a nightlight to show me how to find my way, literally...for without the moonlight on this night, a bright and beautiful nightlight, the salt crystals would never have been sparkling and i could never have seen this beautiful scene, let alone capture it with my camera for others to enjoy as well...
and ironically, it was so much harder to hike over this rugged terrain when the moon was not in the sky, relying only on a headlamp was much more difficult to find my way across the desert bottom...but the meaning goes much deeper than just that on the surface...metaphorically, the same can be said about trying to find your way though the tough parts of life, without a glowing light to guide you, that special someone who illuminates you and your path, it is so much harder to find your way though without their glow...
step after step to find this frame in time, my nightlight illuminated me on this night, lighting me up and further helping me to continue to find my way, find meaning and discover my purpose and my own light glowing inside me...this image here is a result of that inner and outer radiance, so that i could create this art for myself and others to see and remember this night and its nightlight...and why i see such a profound beauty in the meaning of this new impression...
“and i'm your moon because i shine brighter than any other star in your universe and you are my darkness. without you, i can't see the depth of my light and with you i can set the night a glow. so we need one another—the dark and the light. your fear. my courage. connected, but separated. different, but the same. a synergy that makes no sense, but every bit of sense. we're neither a beginning, nor an end. we're somewhere in between our madness at sunset and the reality we awaken to with each sunrise. we're the ghosts of timing and fate. we're neither fantasy, nor reality...we're a purpose somewhere in between” ― shannon l. alder, 300 questions

"i was lost in such a dark place, i lost my focus entirely. not sure of anything anymore for i no longer could see clearly, lost my sight of everything, could not even see the hand right in front of my face...ironically it was my darkness that showed me my light...sometimes you need the darkness, and i needed to be where i was surrounded by pitch blindness, so i could rediscover the importance of light, and understand the magnitude of seeing again...i needed to see the light clearly when she entered my darkness, for then i knew my focus, where i needed to go, where i wanted to go, knew the importance of seeing again as everything brightened. everything became more clear, more vivid as i got closer, closer to my enlightenment...through the darkness i finally found my light" ― bodhinku, light in the dark  
“put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart...let go of thinking.” ― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi  
"with the right amount of light, even the darkest of darkness glows" ― bodhinku, darkness glows
taken this past sunday (11-10) under a (nearly) full moon sky, pictured here is a scene from death valley in the mojave desert, very very far away from any people and civilization...this is a remote wilderness area of the park and is only accessible via dirt roads and unforgiving and desolate area far below sea level where there is no internet, no cell phone coverage, no technology, no traffic, no other vehicles...
i loved being here, being disconnected from the world again for a spell, and yet so reconnected to nature, seeing a part of the wild world untouched by man, as it has been for millions of years here...not another soul for miles and miles, only myself and my good friend, adventurist, and fellow amazing photographer, chip morton along with my aussie sheppard, my pup, besos...the "lowest souls" in the western hemisphere all weekend (at times we were close to -300ft below sea level!)
this is an eerie landscape formed in the heat and pressure that is very unique to desert surfaces which are markedly below sea level (-285 feet below sea level here)...and pictured here are natural shapes made by a thin layer of salt crystals (similar to ice) that are blanketing over the top of a very silty, slick, and dense mud layer beneath that holds moisture, but still dies out and cracks from the desert's extreme heat in places, and these dry cracks make edges that rise more than the middle parts (much like the edges of brownies or pan cookies) and create seams in the salt layer above it, creating the formations and shapes you see here...
what makes this image so starling beautiful is a combination of light sources surrounding me as i stood there transfixed and mesmerized by all i was seeing, truly a gift for my eyes, and such a nightlight holding me in pure admiration of mother nature...sharing in this moment with me was my new doggie at my feet, and my closest friend a few feet away from me capturing this luminous display of light with his camera same as me...
the main nightlight for this image obviously came from the moon, but what you do not see, is the remnant light behind me from the already set sun, the blue hour as photographers call it, a beautiful afterglow of shorter wavelengths of red light that were mashing and mixing around me with the new light coming from the rising full moon, longer violet wave lengths of light coming over the mountains to the east before me, as i stood at -285ft below sea level...i was simply in awe of the lightshow i was seeing, a perfect nightlight...
i took only a few images (since my images are long exposures), but this particular one stood out and glowed better than any of the others for some reason i cannot explain, very noticeably different and head and shoulders above all of the other images viewed on the back of my camera on this evening...
side note...the strange salt crystals layer was like walking on thin ice, yet very spongy and cushiony, breaking through to the slick muddy layer underneath very often and then slipping with each step...very strange, and unnerving at times, like walking on slippery bed mattress for miles
"you are everything spirit rises up in your light, my heart blossoms in your colors, and my soul is born into your shade" ― bodhinku, everything everywhere    

"see me as your moonlight
and you're the sky, i'm the satellite
orbiting through your night" ― 
bodhinku, satellite
“be the rising moon in my dark nights.
i am thirsty for your light” ― jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing  
“meditate. live purely. be quiet. do your work with mastery. like the moon, come out from behind the mountains! shine" ― siddhartha gautama buddha, sayings of buddha
“three things can not hide for long: the moon, the sun and the truth” ― siddhartha gautama buddha, sayings of buddha  
"a storm howls in my soul
a wild torrent of madness
feral, dark and raw
echoing my longing
through the ancient dunes 

the desert bears witness
to the spell that forms upon my lips
a ritual woven of hope and aching desire
whispered to the swaying sage brush
witnessed by a blanket of starlight

there i stand in the darkness
digging my toes deep into the sands below
anchored in the solace of the earth
awaiting the rebirth that comes
with in the illumination of the moon 

i am the altar
upon which the winds of change do blow
here i wait in silent worship
surrendering at the edge of the unknown
opening to all that lies beyond

at long last she rises
a jewel shining on the horizon
calling to the depths of my spirit
a feast of nightsong to sooth away the noise
her great strength granted to my outstretched fingertips

here my spirit is born
here in this nightlight
here my eyes finally see
here where all things
are eternally free" 
c. ara campbell (modified by bodhinku), the storm in my soul    
“you have shown me a boundless love...a love that roams barefoot to feed its hunger through the desert...a love that strips off its clothes before running across the sand dunes...a love that would scale mountains just to howl to the heavens and see all the world shrink and tremble before it...a love that dreams through the day and comes alive through the night...a love keeping us alive...a love that knows no limits and never backs down from a fight...a love that burns and bleeds and laughs and cries, and shines like a nightlight with all the majesty of the moon and stars" ― beau taplin
“it can’t be helped. it’s you. and there’s nothing else. you are my eye’s only focus and my heart’s single truth. we could be standing on the surface of the moon beneath a blanket of stars, and still, i would see only you” 
"the moment i knew you were it? it was when i showed you the darkest parts of me, and, instead of running away, you rolled out a blanket, laid on your back, and pointed out the stars” ― beau taplin

"no one else, love, will sleep in my dreams. you will go,
we will go together, over the waters of time.
no one else will travel through the shadows with me,
only you, ever believe, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon"
― pablo neruda
“that's how i always want to remember my time with you. like a pure white light, breathtaking to behold" ― nicholas sparks, dear john
“it's a full moon here tonight, which makes me think of you. because, i know that no matter what i am doing, or where i am, this moon will always be the same size as yours, half a world away"― nicholas sparks, dear john
“before getting to the the light, you must pass through a deep darkness” ― nicholas sparks, the notebook  
“light is shallow; darkness is infinitely deep. light is always bounded, it has boundaries. darkness has no boundaries, it is unbounded. light comes and goes; darkness always is. when there is light, you cannot see it. when light is not there, you can see it. but it is always there; you cannot cause it. light has a cause. you burn the fire, you put on wood. when the wood is finished, the light will be gone. it is caused, hence it is an effect. but darkness is not caused by anything, it is not an effect. it is uncaused eternity" ― osho, the empty boat: encounters with nothingness  
"darkness is beautiful. it has tremendous depth, silence, infinity. light comes and goes; darkness always remains, it is more eternal than light. for light you need some fuel; for darkness no fuel is is simply there" ― osho, freedom: the courage to be yourself  
“darkness is an absence of light. ego is an absence of awareness" ― osho, the search  
“and the greatest adventure is not going to the moon...the greatest adventure is going to your own innermost core" ― osho, the secret of secrets
“fear is natural because one is moving in darkness. the inner journey is very dark. light comes, but that is only at the end. first one has to pass through the tunnel, hence trust is needed" ― osho, beloved of my heart  
"science is a day approach. in the full noon, everything is clear: distinct boundaries, and you can see the other well. logic is a night approach: groping in the dark only with the mind, without any experimental support, just thinking. poetry and religion are twilight approaches, just in the middle. the day is no longer there, the brightness of the noon has gone; things are not so distinct, clear. the night has not yet come; the darkness has not enveloped all. darkness and day meet, there is a soft grayness, neither white nor black, boundaries meeting and merging, everything indiscriminate, everything is everything else. this is the metaphorical approach. that’s why poetry talks in metaphors...and religion is the ultimate poetry; religion talks in metaphors. remember, those metaphors are not to be taken literally; otherwise you will miss the point. when i say the inner light, don’t think in terms of literal understanding, no. when i say, “the inner is like light,” it is a metaphor. something is indicated, but not demarked, not defined, something of the nature of light, not exactly light; it is a metaphor.” ― osho, tantra: the supreme understanding
“darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.”― martin luther king jr, a testament of hope
“there are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights”― bram stoker, dracula  

“we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light” ― plato, phaedrus 

"one truth, many paths.
one heart, many complexions.
one light, many reflections.
one world, many imperfections.
we are all one,
but many.” ― 
suzy kassem, rise up and salute the sun

“before you, my life was like a moonless night. very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...and then you shot across my sky like a meteor. suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. when you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. i couldn’t see the stars anymore. and there was no more reason, for anything”― 
stephenie meyer, new moon
“light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. no matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it" ― terry pratchett, reaper man  

“moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars" ― 
j.r.r. tolkien, the lord of the rings  

“i will love the light for it shows me the way; yet i will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. i will welcome happiness as it enlarges my heart; yet i will endure sadness for it opens my soul” ― 
og mandino, the greatest salesman in the world    

“people need to face their own souls. one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”― 
carl jung, psychology and alchemy  

“i want to be
in love with you
the same way
i am in
love with the moon
with the light
out of its soul" ― 
sanober khan, a thousand flamingos  

“happiness is always there. you just have to choose to see it. there's no point dwelling in the dark and ignoring the light of the stars" ― 
carrie hope fletcher, on the other side  

“in a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. if we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others" ― 
brennan manning, abba's child

“he carries stars in his pockets
because he knows
she fears the dark.
whenever sadness pays her a visit
he paints galaxies
on the back of her hands.”― 
alaska gold, growing Light  

“i had forgotten how much light there is in the world, until you gave it back to me" ― 
ursula k. le guin, a wizard of earthsea  

“the brighter the light, the deeper the shadow” ― 
jay kristoff, nevernight  

“oh, what is brighter than the light?
what is darker than the night?
what is keener than an axe?
what is softer than melting wax?

truth is brighter than the light,
falsehood darker than the night,
revenge is keener than an axe,
and love is softer than melting wax."
 ― cassandra clare, a clockwork princess  

"there's a lover's moon tonight

as i look back over my shoulder
all the stars are shining bright
just like the nights when i used to hold her
she's out there somewhere under the lover's moon

lover's moon won't you shine on me
i'm dancing with a memory
wish i may, i wish i might
have one last chance to hold her tight

there's a lover's moon tonight
shining down on half of this world
so many souls are in its light
but for me there is just one girl

and she's waiting,
i know she's waiting
i know she waits for me
under the lover's moon 
”― glenn frey, lover's moon    

"george: what is it you want, mary? what do you want? you want the moon? just say the word and i'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. hey, that's a pretty good idea...i'll give you the moon, mary.
mary: i'll take it. then what?
george: well, then you could swallow it, and it'd all dissolve, see? and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes, and the ends of your hair..."― 
george bailey, it's a wonderful life 
"don't hide the candle of your clarity. stand up and burn through the night...without your light, a great lion is held captive by a rabbit!"― jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing
“last night i asked the moon about the moon, my one question for the visible world, where is god? the moon says, i am dust stirred up when he passed by. the sun: my face is pale yellow from just now seeing him. water: i slide on my head and face, like a snake, from a spell he cast. fire: his lightning--i want to be that restless. wind: why so light? i would burn too if i had a choice. earth, quiet, impregnated: inside me i have a garden and a bubbling spring”  ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi     

"i am your moon and your moonlight too
i have come all this way, eager for you
i want you to laugh
to kill all your worries
to love you
to nourish you" ― 
jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing
“escape from the black cloud
that surrounds you.
then you will see your own light
as radiant as the full moon.” ― 
jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
“each night the moon kisses secretly the lover who counts the stars.” ― jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing
“patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. it is looking at the night and seeing the day. lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full” ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi  
“the moon stays bright when it doesn't avoid the night” ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi  
“let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being” ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi   
“to see the moon that cannot be seen, turn your eyes inward & look at yourself,in silence...there is a moon inside every human being, learn to be companions with it” ― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
“the sun loved the moon so much he died every night to let her breathe” ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi    
"laying together on a blanket under the night sky, i see my perfect nightlight just as the moon shines on her body, her soft skin glowing into my soul in effervescence" ― bodhinku, perfect nightlight
this is single frame image composition with the night's darkness being lit by a full moon. so, a long exposure was needed to allow the proper amount of light into my camera at the settings i needed to create this impression you see here and permit the foreground before me to be illuminated ...and since it is a long exposure, a stable and sturdy tripod was an absolute necessity in order to keep the image sharp with the glowing salt crystals (i use selective focus on most of my images, similar to the way our eyes see things)...for this i used a dolica 70" carbon fiber tripod, because it is sturdy, tall, and perfectly compact....for me, this shot would never have been possible without my friends daniel and april at dolica tripods.
in my photography i always use filters to create longer exposure effects and to 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 the case with this composition, i used one filter to get the effects and balance i was looking, i used the 1.2gnd progrey genesis filter along with the progrey g-150z filter holder and adapter for my nikon nikkor 14-24mm lens...this dark graduated neutral density filter was selected to bring down the much brighter moonlit sky 4 stops and allow me to use the correct long exposure time on the foreground for bringing out the glowing salt crystals, and not have the sky clipped from brightness, permitting a few stars to shine through as well...this balances in-camera overall the image the way i envisioned...
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 trusty dolica tripod in combination with the progreyusa filters which i use with every photo i take...
"the transition of twilight is so unique, that time we call blue's where i find my peace under the light of a billion stars, glowing and flickering like fireflies rising up in the night sky as the sun sets..." ― bodhinku, my peace
"contemplate without thinking. stop the world. slow down everything. shut off the noise. relax. seize this moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colors of light that envelope you. see the melody and harmony that floats about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence within your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith. this is my world. awaken." ― bodhinku, my world
above all else as always, i hope this message and image find you well.


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