They’ve put up Christmas lights on the trees along the street where I work. They’re the new LED ones that come in colors as yet alien to my eyes. Twinkle light colors have been pretty much set for most of my life, and these new shades….aren’t them. There’s nothing wrong with most of them, per se. It will just take some time to get used to them.
But there is one particular shade I can’t quite wrap my mind around. I call it “Evil Indigo”. Lights–not just Christmas lights, but ANY light–should not be darker than their surroundings.
These Evil Indigo lights seem not to provide any illumination of their own, but rather suck in all light nearby. I know this is a trick of the eye. What they’re doing is providing just enough light as to contrast their surroundings (usually dark trunks) without reflecting from those surroundings. With most lights you can see the illumination bouncing off any nearby surface.
These probably do, too, but you’d have to get up very close to notice. The vast majority of the light they give off is absorbed rather than reflected, which my eyes interpret as black void. The lights themselves give off so little light they take added (though infinitesimal) time for my eyes to register them. My brain sees the surrounding black first, then the lights, and the interpretation is that the lights are drawing in rather than putting out. These Evil Indigo lights are truly the black holes of the lighting world.
It goes without saying that Evil Indigo lights do not belong in my pantheon of Christmas lights. The new, rich red, green, gold, and blue strings that are increasingly popular are but a few ways from induction–they almost manage to be warm colors, which is not easy for LEDs–but Evil Indigo just does not and can never belong.
That’s not to say I don’t like them. Quite the contrary. Any decorative light that can invoke an emotional reaction on its own merits alone is worthy of note, even respect. Put up the Evil Indigos at Halloween and I’m with you one-hundred percent. Put them up as part of a certain ambience where glowering gloom is the goal and I couldn’t be happier. They are awesome lights. That such unearthly colors can exist excites me.
They just don’t belong with Christmas, except perhaps for the lady at the retirement center last night who posted a lengthy list of holidays she does not celebrate and wishes not to be bothered over on her door. Between her and those lights there could never exist so much as a molecule of joy in her apartment. (I shouldn’t think that way–I’m sure she’s a nice person, so long as you don’t catch her on a holiday. Though I notice that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day wasn’t on the list. I wonder how she celebrates it.)
Should I ever become a professional writer and therefore have my own permanent work space I plan to get several strings of those lights to put up around the room. Whenever I have to write evil lairs or bleak landcapes, soulless graveyards or baleful ruins I’ll just turn out the lights and kick on the Evil Indigos. Abandon hope all ye who enter here!
No, seriously! I love those lights! They just have nothing to do with “Ho, ho ho,” or The Light of the World. To me they are the anti-Christmas lights. They have their place. It’s just not Christmas, no matter how determined some people are to make them so.