Light, both real and metaphorical. It intrigues me.
Real light always wins. It banishes darkness every time.
It’s the fastest traveler in the universe. If you could travel at the speed of light, so I’m told, you could go anywhere in the universe in zero seconds. (Intrigued? Go here for more.)
Photographers and other visual artists use light to create depth and interest. Morning or afternoon light, striking the subject at a slant, dramatizes, picks out intricate details and leaves mysterious areas of darkness.
A ritual at my house is commenting on the change in light as seasons change. It’s gradual, of course, but one day near the solstice or the equinox, the light will be different enough to notice. Faulkner noticed, even entitling a novel, Light in August.
Then there are those evenings when the fading light is blue and transcendent and tinges everything with its failing pulse. Pure magic.
Metaphorically speaking, language is a lot like light. “Lucid” means to transmit light. Lucid prose is transparent and easy to understand. But a perfectly lucid story will be a boring story. Storytellers must cast shadows. Readers demand the drama of light battling with—and usually defeating— darkness.
No one wants to read about the happy protagonist lolling about in the sunshine—not for long anyway.