Monday, June 15, 2009

A Dark Day for Beauty

I just returned home from the funeral of a beautiful 26 year old man, a contemporary of my own children, who died two days ago from an accidental drug overdose. Half the town came out for his funeral on this rainy, dreary day. Thunder rolled as we each shoveled earth onto the casket, as if the heavens themselves wept. Zach was the kind of person everyone loves: warm, cheerful, always willing to help, to engage in conversation, one who didn't put up age barriers between us. He was a truly beautiful soul.

Now I am back in my studio contemplating how to continue the quotation card design I started yesterday. It is supposed to convey light and warmth and delicate beauty -- exactly what Zach was to the world. Yet all I feel now is a wrenching gloom, dreariness for the ills and evils of the world, sorrow for so many lives cut down in this way. The past five years I have attended four funerals of young people who died too early.

Today I look at this painting, and others I have sketched out and they seem ridiculously romantic - Pollyanna on paper. The world isn't like this. Our world is filled with darkness.

And yet another small voice tells me that it is exactly because of this darkness that we must embrace, nurture, and imagine Light. I was in the bookstore yesterday and noticed how huge the fantasy section has become. Perhaps we need fantasy, crave unreality, create pleasant fictions and dreams in order to carry us through the Night. On one of my cards is a quote from Anne Frank which says "Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy."

Here is my beginning. We shall see what comes of this painting in a day or two.


  1. So sorry for your loss. So unfortunate & unnecessary...

    I have been in a bit of a dark place myself lately. Keep thinking of this quote: "Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest"

  2. Thank you. You have always give me encouragement.