The Dark Months Twelve

Myriad traditions within India and its diaspora celebrate Diwali, the ‘festival of light’. Diwali is a time to light lamps, and celebrate the triumph of light over dark, good over evil and much else – there’s far greater detail on Diwali and its significance, here.

In a week where we’ve seen the US Presidential election results decisively declare for Biden and Harris, where Dominic Cummings and others have been unseated from within Downing Street, and where the academic and activist, Dr Priyamvada Gopal won her case against the Daily Mail’s false accusation of inciting a race war, the timing seems appropriate.

So, here it is, No. 12 in the series of ‘The Dark Months‘.

The Dark Months – Twelve

It took effort to make the decision, even more to act upon it. The stentorian roar of the windy, wet weather; the kind of sound which obliterates thoughts, spirits, and deeds with an accompanying soup of damp disillusion did not help either.

Research, done online, indoors, and at a safe remove from the horror outside, provided the illusion of progress towards active decision.

After a painful birth, a riverside walk.

Weaving a path across a green. Determinedly holding our place on it, either side a boggy, damp, mush of dark mud offset by a vivid green as the low light made each blade of grass glow. Two dank pools of brackish mud seem to breathe out, squeezing the path to barely a tip toe dance.

A trio bristling with puffed up privilege blunder forwards. A sharp look, an icy blast of wind, a steely shaft of sunlight between us, and they stand back.

Along the river. To the left the waters swell, to the right, at a lower level, a mercurial pool leaches into a field, bisected by black boughs and skittering shadows. A heron, silver, grey and blue black flexes its wings. Ripples shimmer.

It’s starting to get dark now, and with its coming, our steps weaken. Gilding peeps out from behind feathers of dark grey clouds slicked with silver in a gentle encouragement to shine.

By dark, as the lights of the city close in, and the din swells, a concentrated clash of colours and light catches the eye.

Ahead: a temple facade.

A statement: “without us there is no Britain”.

We are the light!

Chila Kumari Burman‘s ‘remembering a brave new world‘ is at Tate Britain 14th November 2020 to 31 January 2021 – https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/chila-kumari-singh-burman