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Feature April 2009

April 16th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Featured Musings, Home

Shades of Light and Dark-The Process of Hope
By Stephany Lane Yarbrough

Whether you are a woman who draws or paints, (please refer to the January Feature) in April’s Feature we will look at the question, “Which is more difficult to do, outlines of light or shade?” and what this may mean for the New Renaissance Woman.

Beginning, we start by recognizing that all of life is made up of polarities: hot-cold, sweet-sour, light-dark, fast-slow, loud-quiet, hope-resignation and masculine and feminine to name just a few. These polarities give contrast to life and create for us a way to distinguish for ourselves who we are and what we want. And its by making these distinctions that we formulate possibilities for our growth and continued self-development.

What is man?
What is woman?

Perhaps take a moment to reflect upon these questions and take notice of your own answers.

The Da Vinci’s Muse New Renaissance Woman is the Messenger, Muse, Giver of Life, Connected to All…and creator of all visions of worth.

For some women, this vision of worth is taught to them from an early age, for others it is learned by experience. And the nature of worth may be filled with light or darkness. No matter the level of understanding of the nature of worth, women as embodiments of spirits reflect both for themselves and for the men in their lives, a vision of value of their spirit. So it is important to answer the question above “what is woman?”.

To look at this more closely in order to move toward a greater awareness of hope and light in our lives, we can refer to the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. The following excerpts shaped for this April’s Feature are taken from Leonardo da Vinci’s SIX BOOKS ON LIGHT AND SHADE.

Whenever we are not clear of our vision of worth, we are in our own shadow. And shadows hide our ignorance yet reflect the light of our ideals.

A shadow may be infinitely dark, and also of infinite degrees of
absence of darkness. The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for
The beginnings and ends of shadow lie between the light and darkness
and may be infinitely diminished and infinitely increased. Shadow is
the means by which bodies display their form.

However what is our form, our vision of worth? How do we create or define it? We do so by getting to know or become familiar with our shadow. Who were you in your youth? What were your dreams? Who were your role models? What were you passionate about? What were you in love with? And what happened as our desires were not met? What actual experiences did you have?

Shadow partakes of the nature of universal matter. All such matters
are more powerful in their beginning and grow weaker towards the
end, I say at the beginning, whatever their form or condition may be
and whether visible or invisible. And it is not from small
beginnings that they grow to a great size in time; as it might be a
great oak which has a feeble beginning from a small acorn. Yet I may
say that the oak is most powerful at its beginning, that is where it
springs from the earth, which is where it is largest.

When you were large, what did you want? The beginning is the key to the process of hope.

Darkness is the absence of light.
Shade is the obstruction of Light
Shadow is diminution {the lessening} of light.
Light is the chaser away of darkness.

What is your light? What meaning do you attribute to your experience? In your darkest moment don’t worry…

at a considerable distance all the shadows of different
colours will appear of the same darkness.

The first step is to look into the darkness in order to find the light.

Shadow is the absence of light, merely the obstruction of the
luminous rays by an opaque body. Shadow is of the nature of
darkness. Light [on an object] is of the nature of a luminous body;
one conceals and the other reveals. They are always associated and
inseparable from all objects.

Light and shadow make up who you are. While light helps to celebrate your joy, shadow gives power to your message and is the impetus to making meaning. This meaning making discovery is a step toward defining your vision of worth. The light is it’s celebration…

But shadow is a more powerful agent
than light, for it can impede and entirely deprive bodies of their
light, while light can never entirely expel shadow from a body.

The potential then for making meaning and defining your vision of worth from your shadow then is all powerful. You are all powerful as the Messenger, Muse, Giver of Life, Connected to All…and creator of all visions of worth. Embrace your creative ability!

And remember, although women as mistress of spirits reflect and represent the light, it is our shadows once honored which make for the abundance of light possible.

Darkness, then, is the strongest degree of shadow and light is its
least. Therefore, O Painter, make your shadow darkest close to the
object that casts it, and make the end of it fading into light, seeming to have no end.

For the muse “painter”, hope is held onto in the understanding that the light is more difficult to outline, but is worthy of the struggle. For the New Renaissance Woman, this knowledge that the light is always there, even when entirely deprived, empowers the search for meaning and once outlined, even just a little, light and hope emerges.

A Personal Note

I come from a family that was not very family-oriented. We were very independent, although I was the more sensitive one, so now, for myself, or as I imagine for anyone who is experiencing and caring for end of life issues with their parents as I am presently, the contrasts of life become ever more apparent and the cycle of life more profound. For me, detachment and new attachments made, shadows become less frightening, pains become less important, wounds are healed and new insights emerge, stories are revealed, discoveries are made and the beauty of lives are lifted. Although both my parents are suffering in their own ways as health debilitations make their presents known and as they look back upon their lives and review their regrets, somehow I feel the blessings this family gave to me in the degree of shadows and the journey this has taken me on to be able to outline my life in light.


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Gonen Paz // Apr 22, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I am in awe, and moved by these beautiful observations of the spectrum that cycles from dark to light. I want to embrace you and give you energy and warmth so you can grow further.
    Life is in the small details that compose the bigger picture which is forever different from various point of observation.

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