Day 708: Color and Light

I find this time of the year challenging, because there is less color and less light where I live (in the northeast United States).

During this time of the year, I need to work harder to keep fear, sadness, worry, regret, and other “negative” feelings at bay.

How do I do that? By

Last night, on my walk to my car after work in the cold and the dark, I heard this song from the album Color and Light: Jazz Sketches on Sondheim.

(“Loving You” from Stephen Sondheim‘s Sunday in the Park with George  — a musical about George Seurat who painted with color and light — performed with light and color by Nancy Wilson, Peabo Bryson, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade, and found here on lightly colorful and colorfully light YouTube.)

That parenthetical statement above isn’t exactly light on information.*

Here are some images of color (and black and white) and light (and dark) I was able to capture yesterday:

IMG_3199 IMG_3201  IMG_3205 IMG_3211 IMG_3216 IMG_3224

IMG_3228 IMG_3231 IMG_3235 IMG_3241 IMG_3245


Before I leave for another day of colors, blacks, whites, grays, light, and darkness, I wished to share with you the title tune from Color and Light, performed by Herbie Hancock … but it’s not on YouTube. So, instead, here’s another tune from that album, “They Ask Me Why I Believe in You — from an unproduced 1956 television play I Believe in You as performed on the piano by Mr. Hancock and Stephen Sondheim himself:

which you can find here, on YouTube.

If you click on this link, you’ll see a surprisingly long list of unproduced projects by the very talented and successful Stephen Sondheim.

What does that tell me?  That he’s had some challenging times, too.

Thanks to all the human beings and cats that contributed to the creation of this post and to you — of course! — for all the color and light you perceive and bring, here and now.

* That paragraph is also light on the facts, people. I don’t know what I was thinking!  “Loving You” is from the Sondheim musical Passion, based on one of my favorite films, Passione d’Amore.  The song “Color and Light” is from Sunday in the Park with George. I apologize for the confusing and obscuring colors and lights.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “Day 708: Color and Light

  1. I love the warm and the colors of summer. I love the warm and colors of flowers in spring, I love the warm and colors of leaves changing in the fall.
    I am uncomfortable when it gets cool, very uncomfortable when it gets cold. But at least in winter we have sun glancing off the mountains in early morning, when it is too cold for me to go outside to witness, and in the evening, when I sometimes head out with my camera.
    But overall, winter is a huge challenge to me, too.

    • Two main differences here, Emilie: (1) No mountains for the sun to glance off of in the early morning and (2) I’m heading out with iPhone, not camera. Other than that, I relate to all the colors and lights in your comment.

  2. I haven’t clicked all the links but just wanna say how much I admire your attitude!

  3. It’s it nice to see that it’s not just us that have faced some challenges! And I love houses with all the Christmas lights! One of my favorite things has always been to drive around looking at Christmas lights, and Mr. T grumbled more than once – but the other night, he took longer to get home than normal, because he went the long way because he saw some houses had lights up! It warmed my heart that on his own his is continuing the tradition!

    • I love this, Kate! And that photo I took of the Christmas lights in this post? My son Aaron was with me when I took it, and he was telling me that he had recently walked by those amazingly and elaborately decorated houses on his own, to get a closer glimpse of the display.

  4. Like the photos behind Fenway Park, and the surrounding area..

  5. Lack of colour and lack of daylight hours gets to me too Ann.
    Diana xo

  6. Your photos are always full of light and colour and your colourful personality shines through in all your posts. So, it’s never winter at

    I tried to listen to “Loving You” but got the message that “this video isn’t available in your country” — which always puzzles me. But the other one loaded up nicely and went beautifully with my cup of coffee. As there were no lyrics, though, Sondheim didn’t actually answer the question, “They Ask Me Why I Believe in You,” but it’s kind of a lovely question to answer on a piano.

    • And thank you for this lovely answer, from your keyboard.

      I am puzzled and disappointed that there is some sort of boundaried ban on some music between the USA and Canada. How shall we overcome such needless barriers?

      Here’s a video of somebody singing “Loving You” from “Passion,” from an award ceremony in London.

      Let me know if that got stopped at the border.

  7. Cats are cool even in the dark of winter, Ann. And Herbie Hancock and Stephen Sondheim and Ann Koplow? Yes and yes and yes. May I call you a cat in this regard and bend the gender norm?

  8. I hear you Ann! When I lived in Scotland around December and January the sun rose at 9.30 am and set at 3.30pm. Most things happened in the dark! How I love the light here between 7.30am and 5.30pm!
    p.s. I’m considering moving south. This year’s early cold isn’t easy!
    Val x

  9. I love the last photo with the Christmas lights. What an incredible display! You’re right about color. Where I live here in Canada, it’s dull and gray all the time now until spring. The way I keep color in my life if changing my laptop wallpaper often to beautiful depictions of light and color. Today, for instance, I have it set as a cabin in the snow–but it’s during twilight where the sky is this crystal clear blue and the cabin windows have a warm flood of light hitting the snow. I think it’s gorgeous! Anyway, great way to keep the grays at bay I suppose!

    • Thanks for keeping the grays at bay with your visit today, Jack. It’s great to see you! I love the idea of having color and light on your laptop wallpaper. And my last photo doesn’t do justice to how incredible that display really is, around here.

  10. I love the black cat/shadow cat photos. What is really interesting about them is that the shadow is not a shred less colorful than the actual cat. Year-round model of consistency, there. I know there’s something to it all but am not cognitively capable of parsing it out. Must be that I need to catch up on a few more missed AK posts. And don’t worry! winter’s almost over–uh, well. Right. Hasn’t started yet. But the moon’s sure bright and beautiful tonight.

    • Jeff! How amazing that you should show up, so bright, in this post. I wondered what you might think of those cat images and, aware of your recent absence here. I had considered dropping by your blog and writing something like, “The color and light of your presence is greatly missed.” This song, which I heard earlier, also reminded me of you and your love for the moon:

      Great to see you!

      • Likewise. It’s been a bunch of hairy nights working late on end of year stuff. And hairy for a guy my age…doesn’t look good. It was liberating to stop by and ponder color and its absence, and blackness as a presence in your cat subject. I shall return for more!

  11. I’ve never liked the early darkness, the falling leaves. It reminded me of death.
    Oddly, I try to pull myself outside more. The cold and humidity along with the shortening of daylight tries it’s best to wear me thin. Baking and hand stitching bring me heathy results, as do long walks with my dog, Hannah. Picking up the phone to visit friends also lights up the darkness.

    • Thank you so much for bringing so much of yourself here. Speaking for myself (as I type in the darkness), the way you express yourself helps me (and I assume it helps others, too).

  12. Hmm, light is so important, it is hard when it is withdrawn over winter. I’m afraid I chimed with the note ‘I’m disgusted with myself’, because I have just discovered that some stress I have been having (and passing on to others) was caused by an error of my own. I’m very lucky that it only really caused me problems.

    • With anybody who says or thinks “I’m disgusted with myself,” my question is: “Is that a helpful thought?” If it’s not helping, I hope you can let that go. (And by the way, everybody — no matter what the color or light — makes errors.)

  13. I like the shadows and your use of color and light in this post. It is nice to have more color in our lives, also sunshine makes me happy, as John Denver used to say. I enjoy all the music you attach to your posts, Ann.

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