Reflected light from cities of glass
Should we expand our lexis for how we realise our cities? As far as I’m aware, the shapes on the pavement caused by light reflected from nearby buildings doesn’t have a name. The sun hits the glass and reflects back down onto the pavement a ghostly distorted image of the glass from which it has been reflected. Mostly unnoticed, it is an echo of how our cities are built. The old stone buildings are now relics of a more fortified consumerism. The glass and steel being built around us today is a cloak. The glass and steel are smoke and mirrors. A disguise for how the city makes money. The glass is both transparent and yet the reality is, it is impenetrable, reflecting any individualism back out onto itself and into the city, but somehow capturing something from that moment in the process. Holding onto something of our souls maybe, into these monuments of distorted objective capitalism. The Japanese call the dappled light on a forest floor Komorebi. (Incidently, I read somewhere there is a lost English equivalent word – shrivelight – but don’t ask me how I know… I’ve somehow lost the source of this information, but think it has something to do with the excellent Robert Macfarlane.) So I propose we start reclaiming our cities from those who build them, and one way of doing this is to reclaim the nomenclature and how we relate to it.
To this end I’m starting here with some pictures of London’s mulnate reflections.
1. Mulnate [muhl-neyt] the strange sometimes blue shapes of light reflected from glass buildings pooling onto a city’s pavements.
Please feel free to come up with your own word for this.