My grandmother was an artist.

She received her Fine Arts Degree when she was well into her 60’s, and having lived with us for 18 years of my childhood, she inspired my “inner artist” on a daily basis. I remember my grandmother teaching me about the principle of Contrast in art. That is to say, the arrangement of opposite elements (such as light vs. dark colors, rough vs. smooth textures, large vs. small shapes), and how it was actually this juxtaposition that most contributed to a piece’s depth. This weekend, I noticed a handful of delicate flowers sprawled out against the solid, unforgiving pavement and I thought of my grandmother.

And also, Life.

I think too often we feel tempted to push away the thoughts, experiences and ideas that feel too dark, too rough or too small. But maybe this human experience is really about learning to live in the contrast. Maybe it’s about teaching ourselves and inspiring each other to find hope in the dark places, peace in the midst of struggle, trust in times of fear, bigness in our smallness.

And maybe it’s about learning to not only survive but _thrive_ in the in-betweens. Because I’m beginning to think that’s where all the real action is, anyway. The thrilling, pulsing excitement of it all. The true vibrancy and dynamism of life. Not in the sunny days, the broken-in shoes, or any of the soft, smooth places we seek, but rather, somewhere between our darkness and the discovery of our light.



My grandmother, Dorothy Vaccacio, passed away in August of 2018.
This is just one of the many handmade cards she created for me and other members of my family over the years.
I still continue to be so inspired by her life and work.