The first time I had an epiphany about light I was living in Los Angeles as a successful comic juggler (if such a thing exists).
It was in the desert, a mere 2 ½ hour drive from the city, where the highway hypnotizes with blurred broken lines and lonesome mile markers.
We parked the car and looked up. I was overcome by what I saw; a sky of black, filled with points of light that went on forever.
We got out the telescope and pointed it at Halley’s Comet. We pointed it at every nebula, constellation, and planet in sight. I saw Orion. It flipped my lid, blew my cork, sent me around the bend, and nailed me down. I felt like I was looking up a woman’s skirt, seeing something meant only for me.
Nebulas are gaseous clouds where stars are born. They are cauldrons, crucibles where light that will burn for a billion years is created. To me, they are life changing. These nebulas were the genesis, the seed that would sit in the dark for years to come before sprouting into LUMA.
Coming home was like leaving ‘Wonderland,’ ‘Oz,’ and ‘Shangri-La.’
The dismal display of street lights, traffic lights, store lights, and security lights – ad nauseam – trapped and separated me from the eternal wonder that comes with seeing the stars.
People living in the city forget the heavens, because they cannot see the heavens. It is a tragic poignancy that light from stars travels millions of light years to reach our eyes, only to be overshadowed by city lights.
From this point on I saw the value in the darkness, and that LUMA would be as much a show about dark as it is about light.