Darkness, Perspective, and Light

Storms, Darkness: Praiano, Italy

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami

About five years ago, I traveled to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

Reflections of Capri along the Mediterranean, from Praiano, Italy
Reflections of Capri along the Mediterranean, from Praiano, Italy

From the perch in the village where I stayed, the view looked like the above photograph, and the view from neighboring Positano, below:

A Church high above Positano, and the view of Capri's Faraglioli (Fingers)
A Church high above Positano, and the view of Capri’s Faraglioli (Fingers)

One afternoon, storms rolled in from the sea. The change was drastic.

Dark Seas across the view from Praiano to the Faraglioni and Isle of Capri, Italy
Dark Seas across the view from Praiano to the Faraglioni and Isle of Capri, Italy

 

Storms, Darkness: Praiano, Italy
Storms, Darkness: Praiano, Italy

Once the rain had pelted the dramatic coastline for hours, and the sea surged and crashed into the rocks far below, a stream of light peeked out from the heavy clouds. When the darkness parted, the landscape looked even more beautiful than it had before. Why is that?

Stunning Painting in the Sky, above Capri and the Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stunning Painting in the Sky, above Capri and the Amalfi Coast, Italy

Darkness and Perspective

Storms come. Life isn’t easy. Last week, I wrote using the same quote as the beginning of this post. In a wider view, in the past few weeks, the state of the United States has been dire. The Presidential debate, the shootings, and the riots — all of these have weighed heavy on our hearts. The GreatNewBooks.org team have talked about the difficulties in our country recently. Has it ever been this bad? It’s impossible not to shake our heads and wonder how we have gotten where we are as a nation.

I’m not a political person, and I’m also not one who has an explanation for all the things happening. But I am one who has learned to set my feet on the ground in hard times, root into faith, set my face to the wind, and watch the storm come.

storms
Storms

Storms aren’t pleasant. They’re completely out of our control, and maybe that’s why they’re so uncomfortable — we have no control over what happens. There is no explanation for why a tornado devastates a certain town, or why lightning strikes, much in the same way it’s difficult to make sense of the metaphorical storms which plow their way through our lives, in events big and small, public and personal.

The one thing I do know is that after the storm, we can appreciate beauty much better than we could before the storm. Without darkness, it’s difficult to see the light. There is nothing that has more importance than the task of keeping our lights shining. For it is with the light we’ve kept burning that defines who we are despite the storms.

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

6 thoughts on “Darkness, Perspective, and Light

  1. Beautiful photos! Love your photography, love this post.

    I believe that storms can be redemptive, either on a personal level or an organizational one, or both. They can help us define and redefine our true values, which we need to know to understand our purpose on earth.

    “Like a plant that starts up in showers and sunshine and does not know which has best helped it to grow, it is difficult to say whether the hard things or the pleasant things did me the most good.” – Lucy Larcom

    Surely personal and systemic growth is possible without a storm. But what a lens storms can be! They show us where change is sorely needed, remind us at times to proceed with caution, and/or to count our blessings repeatedly.

    Thank you for this post. I count myself blessed to have read it!

  2. Stunning photos ! The Amalfi coast is a place I so want to see and these fabulous photos reinforce that desire.

    We all know so well that there is no life untouched by storms. As you and Evon so eloquently pointed out – they can be a curse or a blessing. A blessing if they are not too severe, if they bring cleansing and relief from the heat of our pain, if we are strong and healthy enough to be grateful for them. A curse if they are destructive, if there are too many of them in a short time, if they bring floods that we can’t ford. Meaningful human connection is so vital. To dance in the rain together in gentle storms, to shelter protectively if it’s severe. To reach out to those who are having difficulty weathering the storm is an act of grace.

    There’s nothing so wrong with this country that can’t be addressed if we just make a heartfelt attempt to reach out, to resist efforts of people to make certain groups “the other.” We can weather any storms if we stand together.

    1. Barbara, thank you. What you’ve written is genuinely beautiful. I love this: “To dance in the rain together in gentle storms, to shelter protectively if it’s severe.” Yes. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. They mean a lot. xo

  3. Your photography is unequivocally that of a master. Visiting here with some frequency, informs that you strive to answer life’s challenges in the storm with the grace and diligence of a master helmsman. My wife and I have sailed for more than three decades. We have noticed that the ferocity of the storm, in certain ways, intensifies the beauty of the light that follows.

    Politically, the rules and boundaries of the process have radicalized beyond explanation and comprehension. The radical upheaval and shameful behavior swirling through our country is of paramount concern. One sure thing is that politics is not the answer. I have no specific solutiions other than to begin with an understanding and appreciation for human kindness.

    Visiting here is frankly, a wonderful antidote to the storms. We are grateful for the equanimity and balance provided by your photography and your words. Thank you.

Leave a Reply to Evon Cancel reply

%d bloggers like this: