Capturing Light


I was inspired by this thought, “If you shine light into a box and then close the lid, do you still have light. No, you have darkness rather than light.” Unless you have the source of light in the box you have no light.  I had to think how many times people take what they perceive to be truth and light and metaphorically put it into their own box. So often we find their light no longer shines.  Our prompt for d’Verse~Poetry Pub is take a word and use it symbolically  to mean something else. I chose the word Light;     This is a painting I finished last weekend that I called Capturing Light.

Capturing Light

Ever try capturing light in a box

Close the lid tightly to contain it

Light in a box is a paradox

There’s no source there to maintain it


As you snap the lid shut

Think you have it at last

The rays disappear in an instant

For rays alone do not make light

With rays there’s no way save them


For light you see of every kind

From Rabbi, priest, or committee

Does not come from their simple minds

It comes from a source that’s emitting


Reflecting is all we can ever do

Our creator’s the source of our light

When it comes right down to me and to you

The best we can do is to shine bright


Light is not something to capture and hold

Thinking surely we can improve it

How disappointed we will be

Finding blackness boxed up all through it


Painting: Dwight L. Roth

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65 thoughts on “Capturing Light

  1. I almost chose light for my symbol but went very dark instead. I once wrote a poem “light is only a degree of darkness.” Light comes from within an open mind, perhaps. We live in so much mystery. I try to live according to my faith/light but can never/would never discount the point of view of others. so much mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Words to think about…
    But I would worry that your words appear to propose that those without set beliefs (such as I) exist in a state of eternal darkness…
    I think I shine quite brightly, but perhaps I am misunderstanding your definition of light?
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Anna, for your thoughtful comment. I am sharing from my personal point of view. My intent is not to judge others although I can see how it may appear that way. Thanks for your challenge.


      • Then I am gone Dwight.
        I grew up in a religious household so it is not that I have been isolated from it. But I was never able to see the light you see – far from it.
        However we, in our own thoughts and beliefs, have elevated ourselves to just below the status of a ‘God’ we remain as we are a predator species. We might not think we are not as we buy our pre-packed meat from the supermarket, far removed from the actual killing, but we consume it without thought. We are predators, the top of a particular food chain.
        And that is the animal kingdom we exist in. We are animals whether we like the idea of it or not. Look around the world and see the evil we do, this often in the name of our ‘God.’ (This evil does elevate us from other animal forms, but it is an awful elevation.) It is all about our particular view on survival, although these views will eventually be the end of us, as we pursue the notion that only our beliefs are just.
        So I do not see the light in a distant ‘God’, but there is a light in me. I (believe) I am more of what we define as ‘human’ than many who seek their ‘God’ for forgiveness of their sins, often awful wrongs.
        That is my belief Dwight; although I would never deny others their belief or try and convince them they were wrong, even though I might believe they are.
        My belief, my dearest hope, is that one day all humans might be good. But it is an impossible dream, but nevertheless, I dream…
        The kindest of regards
        Anna :o]

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you Anna for you great response to my question. I also have grown up being taught that God exists and has a hand in what takes place through out the universe.
        To me the light that you speak of coming from within yourself is an outflowing of God’s grace in my life as exemplified in Jesus Christ. You are right when you say Religion has been the source of some of the worst offenses, which brings me to my painting and poem. When we put our beliefs in a box that we create it soon loses the light of God because, as you also have said we have elevated ourselves to become as God, knowing good an evil. I believe we can only reach the impossible goal you referred to as your dream, when we reflect the spirit of God’s love in our hearts and actions. Without that we simply remain as animals on top of the food chain. I believe God is Love and though your dream of a peaceful world probably will never come about, we can show that love one person at a time to each other, hopefully making a difference and making the world a better place for our children and grandchildren.
        I believe you do see the light I see, which you refer to as your impossible dream
        Thank you so much for your response.


      • Cheers for your welcome response to my response Dwight!

        I would beg to differ re your belief that the light (I see in myself) is an outflowing of Gods grace for that would mean that (my) childhood innocence was not an entity in itself, rather something gifted by God. In my innocence I willingly allowed my parents to raise me in their faith, yet I found I could not believe. But ‘God’ remains in me although I don’t accept his existence?
        But the bible would suggest we are born with original sin. Rather than several quotes I would direct you here: I would love to discuss points therein with you further, but my brain is not alive enough as it is nearing midnight.
        I would be quite happy to discuss with you further, in an effort for us to gain knowledge and understanding of our own particular beliefs, and this not being an effort to change said beliefs.
        You are under no obligation to do so, but if you wish to, my email is:
        More kind regards!
        Anna :o]


      • Anna & Dwight — If you might forgive my brief intrusion into your dialogue, I’d like to note (because Anna might find it interesting), that while Judaism and Christianity have some books in common, Judaism does not include a concept of “original sin.” We were born innocent, and being childlike and innocent is our truest nature, because then we approach life with wide-eyed awe and fear of “that which is greater” than us… and there are many differing views about the exact nature of the “that which is greater.”
        Not trying to change opinions, just sharing information. Wishing you both a very lovely week, jen

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Jen, you are not intruding in any way. Your insights are well worth considering in the discussion. This is a blog an open to all who care to give input. Christianity has a couple differing views on this. Some groups like the Catholic church baptizes infants because they believe the child is born with original sin whether it know that or not. Other groups believe in innocence until the age of accountability when they make the choice to accept or not accept what they have been taught. I would tend to believe the latter which is what you say is practiced in Judaism. Thank you for entering into the discussion.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting. I was just curious because I really like the “light” painting featured in the post. Reminds me of the idea that to truly shine, we must open ourselves to life. But I also see how it is what you intended, that we lose the light if we try to capture it. Anyway, great painting!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for asking. I would be happy to sell it to you if you are interested and within shipping ability. Where are you located. I did this one on Masonite board and it is in a recycled antiquated frame from the Restore. For you $35 plus shipping. If you are interested let me know.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Light as in enlightenment generally means the opposite of obscurantism. I’m with Anna. My little light shines from me, not as the reflection of something I don’t believe in. A lot of food for thought (and discussion) in your poem, Dwight 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. in your painting I see an open lid with light pouring out – but looking again I can also see an eye. We do not always recognise light so maybe that is when ‘Light in a box is a paradox’ gorgeous lines

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like how you expanded the concept. We should all know this by now… but humans are forever learning, Great painting and your poem nailed it. I’m sending your post to my kids and their friends. If the young understand this….. we’ll have a chance of a better future.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In your vivid painting, I see all the horrors escaping from Pandora’s box, but perhaps that’s just my inner pessimist shining through.

    I like the structure and pacing of your poem. I’m not an atheist, but I’m not religious either. I respect the source of your light, even though I probably won’t feel it for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Barry for your analytical response. I thought perhaps it might look that way as well. Perhaps when we box up our Truth and Light into a rigid box it becomes a Pandora of sorts.
      Thank you for reading and thinking about what I attempted to share.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dwight, I appreciate your poem. And your painting.

    I’ll say only that the idea of merely reflecting is shy of what I read and I know. If the light is within us, having been (born into, placed… you fill in the blank as you see fit), then how can we only reflect? Not an argument, just casting seeds… and not of doubt. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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