I love words. Like, I really fucking get off on them. With so many beautifully descriptive adjectives, properly placed nouns, and action oriented verbs, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But five years ago I found my word. The one that distinguished itself from all the others: chiaroscuro.
It’s a Roman phrase, mostly used in relation to art, that means the strong contrast between light and dark. And very few things fascinate me more than contrast.
Over the past few days my life has been embodying the definition of Chiaroscuro.
On Saturday, I woke up to a phone call from my best friend (Zach) that his mother died of cancer. This is the same woman who took my prom pictures, let me have karaoke sweet sixteen at her house because I grew up in a less than palatial condo, and almost 14 years ago, went on my very first date with me. I was 11. Zach’s mom and mine said they had to come out with us to lunch before we could go to the movies. She was pretty incredible in that way.
Lit, and lively, and caring, and gone.
Almost immediately, my attention had to be on a writers’ meeting I was scheduled to attend in an hour. It was comedy script about people who fulfilled the wishes of the terminally ill… poorly. I thought there was no way I could be funny (especially funny about this) in the face of this shitty shitty news, but I went, and I am almost guilty in saying that I have never been more engaged and interested in anything.
It reminded me how much joy I get out of sharing the creative process. And my whole weekend was this beautiful birthing of ideas, characters, actions; the new.
Very few things fascinate me more than contrast, and maybe it’s the juxtaposition of this sadness that allows me to acknowledge the joy.
But fuck hyper appreciation. I’ll take people over some mumblecore self-absorbed inner reflection any day.