The Razor’s Edge

Ireland 1100

When taking pictures I’m often drawn to the razor’s edge: a contrast in color so stark that it seems improbable, as if rendered in a Warhol print.

A light rain plinked on us as I walked with my children towards the train station in Droghedah, about midway between Belfast and Dublin.  We had just crossed an old stone bridge when I glanced over my left shoulder at a burst of bright color and saw these magenta flowers, which neighbored a brilliant violet-painted house.

Life is not short on contrasts so jarring as to occasionally instill disbelief: hope and resignation, birth and death, love and hate, kindness and indifference, darkness and light.




On another June 28th, not so very long ago, I walked into a hospital on an oppressively humid day, hand-in-hand with my outwardly healthy young husband Jim.  When we entered that space we had consuming jobs, children excitedly heading off to different places, and a wedding anniversary a few weeks away.

When we walked out of the hospital later the same summer day it was still light, and suddenly Jim was a full-time cancer patient and I a crushed, unready and unsteady caregiver.  And we both knew–though he did his best to spare me the devastating certainty of the diagnosis he had just received–that he was dying.

It seems to me that the essence of living with grief is about wearing away the razor’s edge, smoothing the contrast between acceptance and defeat, before and after, then and now, so the pain doesn’t disappear, but softens its way into memory, eliding into a nostalgia that preserves love and helps one find peace.

About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2020 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
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11 Responses to The Razor’s Edge

  1. Your final paragraph is heartbreakingly beautiful.

  2. Beautiful post, sharp contrasting edges can be painful places to be. The softening and blurring of edges can smooth transitions. You always write so touchingly 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    It not easy to find peace in between the edge contrasts…. The last one expresses so very well.

  4. Gorgeous pictures, Stephanie. And a thoughtful blog, as always. I particularly like your description of getting used to grief: (“…wearing away the razor’s edge, smoothing the contrast between acceptance and defeat, before and after, then and now, so the pain doesn’t disappear, but softens its way into memory, eliding into a nostalgia that preserves love and helps one find peace.”

  5. Love the red door 🙂

  6. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts | The (Urban-Wildlife) Interface

  7. scillagrace says:

    Smoothing away those contrasts, resisting the dramatic razor edge, is very helpful on the path to acceptance. Good/bad polarized is painful. All is; all is one is peaceful. To me, anyway. 🙂

  8. ann martin says:

    The sad trials of life beautifully informed and lived. AM

  9. Maya says:

    Beautiful post, both in photographic and written imagery.

  10. Pingback: Silhouette Sampler | Love in the Spaces

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