Electric light is a hopeful thing. A blaze of hope. It strings us together and tells us we belong. With electric light, you are connected to something larger, that stretches between you and your neighbour. It is communal and inclusive, binding us together. It speaks to us of civilisation and order and at its base safety.
Fire light is a more elemental thing. We command it and have tamed it, but it is inconsistent and fickle. It needs to be cared for. It is a more lonely light, as it is individual. It casts its light on you alone. It keeps the dark at bay and the safety it affords is fragile, an atavistic protection that can withdraw at any moment.
While the lost traveller will feel relieved to see a flicker of light ahead, as they stumble in the dark. After all to see lights in the dark is to see humanity. But how would the type of light create a different timbre of relief to flutter through them? Seeing electric lights means the edge of the civilised world. Their illumination needs planning, technology and organisation to create. It’s sparkle says here we have infrastructure that has followed at path, which you can follow home.
Fire light on the other hand says here is the edge of the wilderness: the point of the edge of a pin we have pushed into the dark fabric of the wilderness. There is a way home still, but it is still through the terrible night.
But does that make fire light more hopeful?
If we are looking at a glimmer of hope, it is frail and unsteady. It has no permanence, flickering, fickle and still mounted by danger.
When you see a glimmer of hope, it means not safe yet, but soon.
This cod profundity was written in response to the prompt glimmer.