My Small Object – A Rusty Old Light

The light from Hofstra University’s Public Safety vehicle is an unassuming object. At first glance, it’s a rusty old light detached from the vehicle to which it belongs. It’s a dysfunctional illumination device, one that by definition does not even light up. But it is so much more. I found the light while exploring campus late one night with my friends. This exploration was an expression of freedom from the monotony of staying inside, not even being able to leave my room to be with friends due to COVID-19 restrictions. We found a small sliver of freedom and brightens in the dark situation, going out, exploring, and being beholden to no rules – except for the mask-wearing, which we all did. The glimmer of light from that one night was not perfect. Having to wear our masks and even the cold biting air and the hard frozen snow degraded the experience somewhat. Just like the light itself. It was a ray of hope during our adventure, as it was an unexpected find that we took joy in discovering. However, it was broken, dark, and rusty. Both the object and the journey were a dimmed light. A bright essence dulled by circumstance. Our semblance of freedom and fun, darkened by the harsh weather and the prohibitive but necessary masks. The once bright light, extinguished by the same weather, detached from it’s car, just like we were detached from our free lives before the pandemic.

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