"Incandescent, Shining, Vivid"
The word of the day is luminous.
Oooh, this is a peach, yes?
Writers collect words the way your grandma hoarded knick-knacks, squeezing every inch of them for meaning, beauty and usability. Here’s what the Oxford says about “luminous”:
1. radiating or reflecting light; shining; bright.
2. lighted up or illuminated; well-lighted:
the luminous ballroom.
3. brilliant intellectually; enlightened or enlightening, as a writer or a writer's works
Ha! Well, of course.
The thesaurus gives us “incandescent, shining, vivid” and a thousand more ways to use just this one, gorgeous word.
“Rush loved the way the light came up in Nicola’s eyes, the luminous, birthday candle expression.” Or “The storm stripped the trees of their new blossoms and the petals danced, luminous as pink fairies in the premature darkness.”
So much fun!
But there’s more. In 2002, Pope John Paul 2 updated the Rosary to add the Luminous Mysteries, which are by and large concerned with miracles – the transfiguration, the changing of water into wine, the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Incredible events, they could have just as easily been the “fireball” mysteries or the “wheee! Awesome!” mysteries, but that wise man chose “Luminous” instead, thereby casting a beautiful shine over those days, inspiring a sort of quiet awe.
In photometry, luminous energy is the perceived energy of light, and should you choose to research this, you’ll soon be agog in technical terms. “This type of energy can be collected from luminous wisps, located south of Sophanem at level 90 of Divination.” What? Not a clue, but isn’t it lovely? I wish I could paint the luminous wisps; this feels Dr Seuss-ish to me.
Virginia Woolf said that, “Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.”
Or wait – look at this song.
Admittedly, I’m not a big fan, but these lyrics:
Luminous more so then most anyone
Unapologetically alive knot in my stomach
And lump in my throat
I love you when you dance.
Fairly awesome, yes? The power of the word is amazing to me; as a writer, I never get enough of it.
So today, I’m going to take “luminous” and put it in my pocket, rub it smooth with my thumb the way you would a Saint Michael medallion or a worry stone, and make it my own.
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