Incoherent Light

Monday Morning Musings:

My friend’s husband says she’s in charge of rainbows,
a wondrous job, I think, but she doesn’t want it.
I understand, it’s a lot of responsibility–
but imagine the perks—would you see all the light
we cannot see? A scattering of particles, the coherence
and incoherence of light—the flow of color, like a waterfall–

Early morning light on the Delaware River (there’s a morning moon in the upper left corner) ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021
A cloudy morning-

on the car ride home, we hear part of a Ted Talk on the radio. The speakers are discussing stars,
they sing “we are stardust,” as people are setting off noisy fireworks all around us,
seeking light in the sky, not realizing it’s within.

Early morning sun over the Delaware River.

My cat leaps from his comfortable tabletop slumber at a loud bomb-like burst. I think of our other cat, dead but alive in memory, Schrödinger’s cat—and I think of the graveyard of twinkling splendor I see in the night sky, the ghost light of ancient stars, echoing.

Do some people become black holes, full of light that’s caught–and so dense,
trapping anything in their path and extinguishing all sparks,


the glow of sun on water, reflections that magnify what is or what could be?
We only see our own images in reflection. Perhaps it is the truth, that we—
and everything—wavers—depictions that flow endlessly through time—incoherent, chimerical,

Crow circles, caws to the river, sky, air—look around you—
and I try, but–

As the crow flies— over the Delaware River©️Merril D. Smith 2021

my dear friend, I’m in need of rainbows. Please see what you can do.

Sunrise and mist over Pitman Golf Course–taken by my husband.

Yesterday, was Independence Day in the US, the Fourth of July. We got together with friends for dinner, and when we got home the neighborhood crazies were setting off fireworks for the second night in a row—but worse last night. My cat was terrified, and I was annoyed. I’m hoping we don’t have another night of it.

Merril’s Movie Club: We watched two movies this week. Coherence is a low-budget 2013 indie film that we both really enjoyed. It’s a Twilight Zone type story of a dinner party on a night when a comet is streaming by very close to the Earth. Strange things happen, but it’s better not to know in advance about them. But you may question what is real. It’s available free on Amazon Prime, and maybe elsewhere. We also watched Shiva Baby, a new movie (rental from Amazon) that we also really liked—me perhaps more than my husband because I felt like some of the people could be my relatives. Nearly all of the movie takes place at a shiva, but it’s a comedy/dramedy. We’ve all probably been stuck in awkward social situations that we can’t seem to get out of, and this movie captures that feeling perfectly.

43 thoughts on “Incoherent Light

  1. I’ve never thought of light being incoherent (except for a strobe light). It’s usually associated with improving clarity. My favorite photo out of this grouping is EARLY MORNING SUN OVER THE DELAWARE RIVER. I love the composition and the muted colors, and wasn’t it obliging of the geese to cooperate so well with the photographer?

    After a relaxing day yesterday, my husband and I were treated to, first, the *** across the street shooting off his gun within hitting distance of our house–and then the bang, bang of the fireworks from the neighbors. In the words of the late, great Victoria Regina, “We are not amused.”

    • Apparently, it is a science term. 😀
      Thank you for your comment on the photo. It is nice when the geese cooperate. Hahaha

      I’m sorry you had that noise, too. It seems to be all over. I’m not amused either.

  2. ‘Do some people become black holes, full of light that’s caught’ – this is the kind of question I ask myself Merril: so nice to know I’m not alone 😊 I love the photos!

  3. There’s a black hole specially for people who throw firecrackers. They think it’s heaven. We know better.
    Incoherent light is a strange idea, I’ll have to think about that one.

  4. I understand your friend…
    This is a lovely share with beautiful photos!
    I also got caught up on the ‘do some people become black holes…’ bit…
    So sorry about the fireworks. They just don’t know when to stop!

    • Thank you so much, Dale!
      Yes, I seem to be stuck on stars and light. . .so the opposite, too.
      We had downpours both nights, but then when the rain stopped the fireworks started. UGH!

      • There are worse places to be stuck, I’m thinking!
        So moment of yay to nay! So sorry. My friend lives in Chicago and someone either from a helicopter videotaped all the fireworks happening around. I’ll send you the link in Messenger 😉 She said they didn’t stop all friggen night. Her cat was beside herself.

  5. Younger daughter has gotten no sleep for weeks because of the fireworks. In my neighborhood last year it was like that too. This year I could hear it, but not so close. They are definitely blinded by the (wrong) light.

    Now a waterfall of light…(k)

    • I’m sorry for your daughter. Yes, I remember how bad it was last summer. Last night there were some official fireworks in a nearby town that I could hear, but it didn’t bother me. Then someone set some off that sounded like it was right on my street. I was reading in bed, and Ricky the Cat and I both jumped.

      Yes, a waterfall of light is quite different. 😀

  6. It’s always lovely to re-see your photos Merril with accompanying words on your MMM.Sorry about the fireworks, such a pity. They’re banned here in my country but that doesn’t stop people from setting them off. No thought or care for animals …
    We’ve had a few rainbows lately – always a joy to see.

  7. I’ve learned something new today, about incoherent light. Your words and images are beautiful, as always. I’m not crazy about fireworks. I think nature has already provided us with beautiful flowers and lights, if we’d take the time to look (which you obviously do). And if we need a loud boom, well, thunderstorms usually provide. 🙂

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