//covered in gold (or, a library older than light)

(started here)//for all the burdened who chase the Son

the light was exhausted from shining.  volcanic air had thrown so much dust and debris and hurt in its face as it rose, and refused to let more than weak strugglings of light reach the ground in mexico.  it cheered up when it saw georgia, but choked on the atlanta air and pollen. finally, it stumbled into the broad, comforting arms of a library.  the struggled through the window, even though the sky was finally clear again, and fell into the library’s lap with all the exhaustion of a child.

‘i need rest,’ the light said.

‘then rest until the morning, when you are new,’ said the library, and stroked its hair.

‘no, see-‘ said the light, wanting to raise its head in protest but settling for grumbling more quietly into the library’s comforting, book-musty presence.  ‘see, so many people depend on me, all the time, even when I should be sleeping. they keep me up at night, doing things for them or fixing their problems–and when they don’t, I’m up on the other side worrying about them, and then I can’t shine as brightly, and I’m just so tired.’  and the light let out a frustrated huff.

the lamps on the wall of the wise library twinkled. ‘we are both old, you know. every day, a thousand people mill around through my walls, reading, learning, hiding… some ignore what they ought, and others learn what they should not.’

‘yes, and?’ snipped the light rudely, kicking himself all the while for doing it but not exactly feeling sorry.

‘look,’ said the library, lifting his arm and sending the dust motes spinning. the light raised its eyes and watched the tiny multifacets swirl, being.

‘they are gold. look, so are you.’

the light quaked at the knees and lip.  ‘no one can see me,’ it said. ‘that’s the problem.’

‘the sky turns to fire as you set. the ocean sings when you shine. you are inerasable,’ said the library. ‘we see because of you.’

‘but I am unloveable without the things I do.’

the library shook deep down.

‘yes,’  the light said, lifting angry eyes.  ‘everyone I have ever left behind groans and curses me as I fade.’

‘who made you?’ the library said, after a moment’s pause.

‘what?’

‘who made you?’

the light stared at the bookshelves far away as the library stroked its hair.  ‘the sun. I come from the sun.’

‘and does the sun have a reason for what it does? when you shine, and where, and when you do not?’

‘maybe…’  the light hung its head.  ‘but the sun is so…far away. it stopped loving me.’

the library pulled the light close.  ‘the sun runs in your veins, and you cannot lose it.  you are well-made and well-loved and your identity is yours alone.  rest in that.’

‘but how do I rest?  I’ve forgotten…’ the light buried its head in the library’s arms.

‘go be.

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all that i do is a shadow of You//and the light You make//i’m turning my face away from the shade
~ penny & sparrow, gold
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