"I surprised myself... by appearing at eight o'clock, outside the mosque... The beauty of the morning was another surprise: it reminded me of my earliest experiences of America. New York was my first introduction to the possibilities of light, crashing through gaps in curtains, transforming people and sidewalks and buildings into golden icons, or black shadows, depending on where they stood in relation to the sun. But the light in front of the mosque... this light was something else again. It buzzed and held you in its heat, it was thick, alive with pollen and insects and birds, and because nothing higher than one story interrupted its path, it gave all its gifts at once, blessing everything equally, an explosion of simultaneous illumination."
- from SWING TIME, by Zadie Smith