Friday, November 15, 2013

The dark side

It is a truism that many of us spend time and energy (re)learning lessons we resist, whether the lessons are academic, professional, or personal. One of my recurring lessons is the value of darkness.  I'm not a fan of the dark, whether the dead of night or the dead of winter. And when considering the darker side of our natures, I often struggle to reconcile it with the better angels.

The evidence from the last two times I spent with my camera--another trip to the local cemetery I visit often (to be fair, I pass it to and from work, so it's not quite as morbid as it might sound) and a recent trip to New York City--suggests that I remain intrigued with the dark side.  Three of my favorite photographs include a window in the lobby of The American Museum of Natural History and the shadow cast while my daughter and I contemplated the Statue of Liberty.

As with many things in life, the dark side is easier to appreciate as art, with the perspective gained by distance.  But I think a full and well-lived life requires that we appreciate the darkness while we are surrounded by it or walking within it.  Even when the darkness is large enough to obscure the very place in which we are standing.

This is going to be a life-long course for some of us.

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