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All these lights make the world darker

Artwork by Jenna Tse, staff artist

Incandescent lamp, you illuminate every corner of my desk. I think perhaps within you resides a candle holding an ever dormant flame. Or, maybe a god lies in you- Mercury perhaps- a messenger between man and Mount Olympus allowing us to harness the power of the heavens.

You know, light was once a sacred artifact- a testament to a higher power and something we could only grasp in small quantities through the tedious craftings of wax candles or the fillings of glass jars with fireflies. Never before have we been able to manifest such a long revered element of nature with just the tap of a finger.

I remember my father telling me that long ago, my ancestors watched as the sun made its way slowly over the Han River of Korea. They observed and took notes of the hues of blues and magentas in the clouds and skies hovering above; how the colors seemed to enrich in tone as the sun shifted closer to the horizon, and how when it finally reached the point of disappearance, darkness swept over suddenly like a frigid blanket kissing the skies gently to sleep. In those days, only the moonlight provided hope that light could come again; and it always did. The sun rose each day so that the surrounding emerald hills of the Korean peninsula came into vision once again, and my forefathers thanked the heavens for the promise of daily brilliance.

Now, the Han River is bordered by the great city of Seoul. It's streets, constantly shifting and bustling, make it easy to forget the landscape’s natural beauty. The menace of nighttime is a thing of the past, and the light of daybreak is taken with a groan and a cup of coffee. The sun that hovers above is forgotten, or at least camouflaged into the city’s lights; office lamps with gods in each one of them illuminate the city for eternity.

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