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.

9 thoughts on “Welcome…

  1. Tara says:

    Like it! Love it! Want more of it!

    Okay so that was REEEEEEEALY cheesy, but what can I say? I’ve spent the entire day talking to the social worker (for adoption stuff) and I’m pretty much all out of words (yet watch me as I type away, hee hee hee.)

    Looking forward to more!

  2. Cristy says:

    hey! I’ll be checking in often! I love the name!

  3. Susy B says:

    Jill, forgot to tell you that I love the name too…I know what the oscuro means…that is Spanish, but the origin of ‘chiar’????

  4. i’ll also be checking in.

    i like your comparison of light and shadows in words and art.

    now i have another book for you to read. Shadowplay, Eterniday—about the art of Joseph Cornell. counterpart to Conrad, Cornell did with his art what he couldn’t do with words.

    i love playing with light in art. maybe i should just leave the writing to you?

    ps)i never commented on the old blog b/c i couldn’t figure it out (didn’t spend enough time trying). this will be great!

  5. matt says:

    i like the concept that the shadows is caused by the light. I haven’t ever really thought of it that way. Our society uses a lot to chase away the darkness: pills, surgery, therapy, shopping, as well as the physical things: lights with sensors that turn on when you walk by, those glowing lights that get put in the driveway that are always on, and the always-on street lamps. It all keeps us from appreciating the yin/yang…and it all keeps us from noticing the stars, the moon, and the dark hidden things in the forest and in ourselves. There is meaning in the darkness, but few are willing to peer into it.

  6. Lindsey says:

    guilty for using an artist’s term? you are an artist. through and through. i love it. can’t wait to read more.

  7. karmenl says:

    I love knowing such smart people! Your blog is great. Your writing is amazing! Can’t wait to visit and read more!

  8. Faith Bilyeu says:

    Congrats Jill. You are off and running with your blog. You inspire me so keep it up!

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