The Chiaroscuro in Us All

There resides within us all an inherent darkness and light. Good and evil, whichever shading you choose to assign each of our halves, waiting to be revealed. The wish to do no harm while destroying everything within reach simultaneously. It truly is quite the dilemma is it not?

With every passing year, every forgone lesson, every opportunity to elevate ourselves to a higher standard of existing we continually turn away from that desired space between dark and light. We attempt to call our inaction Grey, or Gray as some conclude it must be named and state that this moniker explains it all away. No need to step forward, no need to step back, we just stay in the middle and watch the world burn.

Chiaroscuro in art is simply the ability to document on paper, wood or canvas powerful contrasts between the world’s light and dark elements producing a bold creation for all to marvel and proclaim profound and realistic. Artists engage in this technique in order to achieve the visual presence of volume in three-dimensional objects and human representation and similar effects are found in cinematography and photography.

Life imitates art certainly and, it can also be said that art rightfully masquerades as humanity with its sharp edges, dark curves and unforgiving lighting. It illuminates the very soul of everyone within its grasp, sometimes favorably and other times harshly. It is truth just as we are truth standing in the gap between our own dark and light sides. Not one soul is either all good or all bad, they just allow one side of their human equation to win more than the other.

So, what if we choose to wipe away that vague grey void? What if we utilize both sides that make up the whole being? To combine the dark and the light to make one bold statement of who we really are once and for all? Is THAT not truth? Is that not the definition of reality after all?

We are neither good nor bad, we just ARE. The very realization of the fact that we are here without any concrete proof of beginning, despite what those who wish to deny their dark side say should be grounds for celebration! We are and will continue to be so until our light is extinguished into darkness making us once again…equal.

Yet, we fear, we smash down debate, we drown those who refuse to carry the mantle of shame in condemnation and judgment. How does denying the very essence of your humanity make any of us undeniably holy? Is there even such a thing as holy, pious and pure when the actions of those who work so hard to silence others beg to differ? We can’t all be one and not the other, especially when actively working to discredit, demoralize and dismantle the spirits of those who see both sides and embrace the chiaroscuro within. And, in doing so doesn’t this make us dark while, at the same time, pretending to be light? Such a manipulative, convoluted, dishonest quandary!

https://www.calmdownmind.com/dark-nature-and-light-nature-in-humans/

The point of this is not to enflame the religiously indoctrinated, that position is a personal choice just as it is a choice to enact an alternative stance. Art, much like life is a mixture of varying elements used to create a visual representation of feeling and being. We look at the sky and can see different shapes of clouds,the subtle shade gradients throughout our limited line of sight. We believe what we see and assign it a value yet, at the same time are told to also refrain from believing that which is presented to us as fact or science only because the presenter has a differing belief system and not because what they are saying isn’t actually true. How can this be so? Are we also not asked to believe in a higher power we cannot see or hear? If this is true for some then why not imagine for ALL the possibility that WE not HE or SHE are that higher power when we work together in harmony?

If we are asked to believe in ourselves at every turn in life, whether it be in school, at work or in our relationships with one another then why do we suddenly become weak, indecisive and in need of divine guidance whenever life gets hard? Wouldn’t it be lazy to just throw all of our problems onto an unseen caretaker in the sky and expect them to deal with our self-made burdens? Arrogant AND lazy in my estimation but still, it happens daily without regard to presentation.

We are the light and the dark within our own lives. We create our own chaos, our own worries, our own anger and jealousy. No one else does this for us and again, if that is so then shouldn’t we be the ones holding the paintbrush, feverously working to soften the edges of our darkness and highlighting the lightness so others may see the positive artwork we are making for and of ourselves? To recognize the power within is not blasphemy either, it is relief and it is freedom!

With all the words I have consciously streamed above I have no way of knowing for sure if any of it makes sense or if it just enrages those dedicated to being eternally offended. Either is fine. And, so it goes with the way of life; we make our choices, we paint them in either strong dramatic colors or faint wisps of hesitation. Both make a mark and both are okay. The artist has the power to change their creation at any point in time after all.

I simply choose to look at life from all angles rather than just from one side because in doing so I can truthfully wish to protect all while also doing no harm to any. I see your light, I see your dark and both share a place in this world. Recognition mixed with acceptance creates a different color all together and that color isn’t remotely grey.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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