Just a lovely lampshade once owned by Wm Randolph Hearst.

As we walked from room to room on the guided tour of the Hearst Castle I realized that one could make a clever coffee table book featuring nothing but Hearst’s lampshades alone. Made of silks and velvets and assorted leathers, these shades were works of art in their own right.

Speaking of shades, there are days when the sunshine itself is too intense for us blue-eyed folk, causing us to pull out our Ray Bans for protection. There are rooms lit up with the radiant glow of one hundred watt bulbs that can be blindingly bright if not for the careful placement of a humble lampshade.

There are brilliantly shining stars on this planet, occasionally making an appearance in our own spheres. We need a filter of sorts between us and them just to be able to gaze upon them and not be blinded by their talent, their brilliance, their magnificence in whatever it is they excel in. I can think of a few in my lifetime.

A lampshade of shirred velvet adorned with silken fringe seems to elevate the light it protects our eyes from. But the light is the main thing. No light, no need for a shade. A light came into the world many, many years ago, shaded by simple human form. No velvet, no silken fringe. Most didn’t acknowledge this light, their own darkness being so great. But some did. And they held it dear and hold it out to light the way for others.

Hide it under a bushel? Nope.

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