Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chiaroscuro

My word of the day is:

Chiaroscuro - Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ros
Etymology: Italian, from chiaro clear, light + oscuro obscure, dark
Date: 1686
1 : pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color 2 a : the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art b : the interplay or contrast of dissimilar qualities (as of mood or character) 3 : a 16th century woodcut technique involving the use of several blocks to
print different tones of the same color; also : a print made by this technique 4 : the interplay of light and shadow on or as if on a surface 5 : the quality of being veiled or partly in shadow
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I'm most certainly not an artist, I picked this word up at an drumline competition last year, where one of the bands used this as the theme of their presentation. Chiaroscuro, as they portrayed it, was the stark contrast between light and darkness.
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This week, that word took on new meaning for me. Darkness and Light are intertwining themes throughout scripture.
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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
John 1:1-5 NIV
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When we accept Jesus, we become lanterns in a world engulfed in darkness. The flame isn't ours, it's borrowed, but it reflects brightly when we actively seek out the source of our light. Recently, I learned an important lesson. Darkness isn't passive. Spiritual darkness is insidious, it creeps into unlit corners and leaps to take advantage of any given opportunity. Christians are charged with being the light of the world, and that doesn't happen if we let ourselves become apathetic in our faith. A dim lamp leaves a lot of room for shadows. For instance, have you ever spent time reading at the end of the day when the sun is setting? At first, you have plenty of light. Then, engrossed in your book, you become oblivious to the fact that you are squinting at the page. Finally, you look up from the page and wonder when it became so dark. Kind of like what happens when we become distracted in our Christian walk? Everything is going fine, then we get wrapped up in other facets of living and soon we wonder when all of the junk crept into our lives.
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Remember Chiaroscuro. The contrast between light and dark. Keep your light shining bright!
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On a side note, E-mom generously invited me to write a guest post, so if you visit Chrysalis, you can read my review of the book One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda.

1 comment:

e-Mom said...

Fantastic! Love, love, love that word chiaroscuro. I was an Art History major in college a million years ago, and that word came up a lot!

I like the way you've tied it to the light and darkness in the world spiritually. Brilliant! :~D

Thanks again for your guest post today. :~D