Nora Chadwick in the Pelican guide to The Celts (1970) describes the writing and copying of Irish poetry in the 6th and 7th centuries. “Only fragments of these early poems remain, commonly scribbled on the margin of the book which the scribe happened to be copying. One who is copying a manuscript of Cassiodorus on the Psalms writes on the margin, ‘Pleasant is the glittering of the sun today upon these margins because it flickers so.’”
Here’s a Celtic bowl from the 7th century, found at Lullingstone, Kent. There is a fish lower on the sides, but it’s hard to see.
The monk’s pleasant flickering reminds me of Albert Camus, dying in a car crash in 1960, as the intermittent light through the plane trees confuses publisher Michel Gallimard, who’s driving the Facel Vega HK500:
For sunlight on water, the series Surfing Essay, by Anthony Friedkin, is wonderful.
And the pleasant flickering of light on a surface also reminds me, of course, of cinema projection.