In Quotations: Elizabeth Alexander’s The Light of the World
“Art replaces the light that is lost when the day fades, the moment passes, the evanescent extraordinary makes its quicksilver.
Art tries to capture that which we know leaves us, as we move in and out of each other’s lives, as we all must eventually leave this earth.
Great artists know the shadow, work always against the dying light, but always knowing that the day brings new light and that the ocean which washes away all traces on the sand leaves us a new canvas with each wave.”
from The Light of the World , the memoir Elizabeth Alexander wrote following the unexpected death of her husband, artist and chef Ficre Ghebreyesus.
I recently read Elizabeth Alexander’s luminously sad, yet ultimately joy-filled memoir, which she wrote to make sense of the sudden death of her robustly healthy husband right days after his 50th birthday party.
The book is a memoir but also a down to earth love story.
Theirs was that lucky rarity in our times of fifty-percent divorce rates and Tinder–a truly happy marriage, between two artists, a poet and an painter.
Alexander examines their life together, the nature of memory, the necessary functions of art, and how the living somehow go on after loved ones take their leave.
At 209 pages, The Light of the World , is a fast read, but one that will stay with you and beckon you to return to it’s pages once you finish.