“It takes darkness to be aware of the light.” Treasure Tatum
As an artist, I know that the best paintings have contrasts in them of dark and light. As a teacher of art, I know that this one thing is the hardest for students to incorporate into their art. It takes courage to create contrast. They tend to want to stay in that neutral, everything is the same tone, zone. However, when I nudge them to emphasize the darks and the lights I can feel their resistance. I tell them to trust me and when they do they are amazed at the beautiful results. Some have even gone on to win Best in Show!
In the last year, I have had to go into my inner self to hear that still small voice that says “All is well.” I have seen and felt the dark fear that has come into our country and I find I need to unplug from it all to get centered in the light of peace from time to time. Saturday, January 21, 2017 was one such day.
The day was planned months in advance to be an art workshop day at my art center. The teacher and I decided to postpone it to include others who were unable to come because they were marching in Boston or Washington DC. Suddenly my day was freed up. So, I decided to sit in quiet contemplation most of the day. In contrast to my busy mind I found the quiet still voice of “All is well”. In that voice, I heard that everything is as we as a collective country has put out there as our desire. At first I was confused, but then as the day unfolded, I saw. I saw the light of millions of people walking in solidarity. Their light, their desires of safety, their voice of freedom, their love of equality, their passion for the rights of everyone, of every race, of every gender, their care for the young and kindness for the old. This light could only come because there is a contrasting dark fear that they, that we, then have the courage to come out and shine our lights, creating together a magnificent picture of our future. We are all painting America great.