Last Sunday night I went to the "Festival of Lights" service at Bard College Chapel in Annandale, New York.
The concept of the gathering was to celebrate how all the different faiths cherish the light. I arrived early, along with my wife, who was there to sing with her Sacred Harp group. They handed me a program, which said there were going to be ceremonies from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sanskrit, and Pagan perspectives.
I found a chair in the back. While I was waiting for things to get going, I fished out my watercolors. I liked the way the chapel was lit with two bright reflector floods flanking the chancel, with a recessed warm incandescent on the altar, and some cool ambient fluorescents behind me.
Just as the service was about to start, someone switched off almost all the illumination. I was plunged into darkness. The scene totally changed, and I couldn't see what I was doing. All the colors on my watercolor kit looked black, so my color choices were wild guesses.
I considered strapping on my night-sketching headlamp. But I didn't want to alarm all the nice folks there. What would they think of a dude in the back bobbing his head up and down with a light attached to his forehead?