I am not an artist. Therefore, I feel a bit guilty using an artistic term for my blog name. However, the blog name I wanted, roomofonesown, was taken. I couldn’t think of anything else, so chiaroscuro it is. I like the title. I think, first of all, that chiaroscuro is a fun word to say and write. Mostly, though, I like its meaning. I didn’t know what the word meant until I was in graduate school taking a class on British Modernism. We were reading Joseph Conrad’s book Lord Jim, and I became so fascinated with the use of shadows and light in the book that I wrote a paper on it. Chiaroscuro became to me, then, artistic in a literary sense, which is certainly more up my alley than drawing or painting. I discovered beautiful poetry in Conrad’s use of chiaroscuro. His characters often spoke of glimpsing a “rent in the mist.” They found meaning in the shadow as well as the light.
That’s me. I do love the light. It’s bright, simple, easy, cheerful. But my melancholy soul often lingers in the shadows. Here I plumb my soul’s depth. Here I can curl up in the silky, gray, enveloping fog and allow myself to probe through the murkiness of dark questions and equally murky answers. As I flit through the shadows, I can do so safely, because I know that shadow is only caused by light, and if the shadows get too dark…I can always make my way back to the shadow’s source: light. So I hope that this new blog will chronicle my journey as I weave through the yin and the yang, the shadow and the light.
Welcome to my chiaroscuro.