"You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in."
- Arlo Guthrie
Last night I attended Tyler Ward's memorial service. The parking lot was full; the pews were jammed; the room was full:
- Of friends with aching hearts.
- Of family with tears in their eyes and voices.
- Of people whose lives were touched by this remarkable, yet oh-so-ordinary, young man.
- Of love that refuses to die.
There were resounding words, beautiful music, and heartfelt prayers of many faiths. There were personal stories: of promises made and kept, of what was and what will never be.
But most of all, there was love.
I have asked many times over the course of my life, most recently during the past weeks...
Why this young man?
Why this family?
Why does life have to be so hard?
And then I asked myself, "If I knew that one of my sons was destined to die, like Tyler, at age 36, with so much of his life yet to be lived, would I wish to save myself the unspeakable agony of losing him by never having given him life?"
Of course not. I don't know any parent who would.
Perhaps losing those we love is the price we pay for having them in the first place.
I am acutely aware, as I design, that the key to any good design is balance.
- Between knit and purl.
- Between smooth and raised.
- Between yarn overs and decreases.
- Between color and pattern.
- Between light and dark.
Contrast is what makes a piece sing.
Without contrast, our work looks like this:
Too much darkness renders the pattern indistinguishable:
Too much light washes it out:
Only when there is proper contrast, does the pattern spring to life beneath our hands.
Light and shadow.
Yin and yang.
Life and death.
Joy and sorrow.
We may, in our ignorance and pain, wish for light without the dark to stick it in. We may wish for it with every fiber in our being.
And we would be misguided.
It is the dark which gives depth and dimension to the light, revealing the pattern of our lives.
We are born out of the darkness of the womb and we return to the darkness of the grave.
Yet light surrounds us. The light of love and hope and faith sustains us all.
It shines in a baby's smile. It speaks in a father's memories. It sings in a mother's lullaby. It reflects brightly from the life of an extra-ordinary young man.
Light leads us onward. It invites us in.
And one day it calls us home.