In the final scene of Eric Rohmer’s movie Le Rayon Vert, a young woman sits with a man she’s just met, watching the sun set over the sea. Just as it disappears below the horizon there’s a brief but unmistakable flash of green—the last fleeting moment of sunlight. The green ray, after which the movie takes its title, is said to offer a flash of clarity into one’s feelings and those of others. Scientifically, the green ray can be explained by the way light is refracted and separated by the earth’s atmosphere as the sun approaches the horizon. The often-elusive phenomenon—people can spend their whole lives looking for it—took on a semimythical significance when it was first popularized by the publication of Jules Verne’s Le Rayon Vert in 1882, a century before Rohmer’s movie was released. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-One Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 42 Anna Wiener Anna Wiener was on the path to Silicon Valley success. Then she pivoted. Allyssia Alleyne charts the making of a tech-skeptic. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Influencers Anonymous Instagram content creators answer a short survey about the influencer industry. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Crazy Busy There’s no rest for the aspirational. Arts & Culture Issue 42 The Goal Keepers Not your therapist, not your friend: What accounts for the remarkable rise of the life coach? Arts & Culture Issue 42 Torrey Peters The Detransition, Baby author is living her best life. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Trash Talk On wish-cycling and wishful thinking.