I enjoy thinking about “the human experience” (surprise surprise, counselor lady) and spend my days talking to people about the ups and downs of their lives. Often my photography serves as an escape for me into the lighter, more beautiful or sweet or adorable sides of life. But I believe there is also reason to photograph the darkness. I took these particular photos years ago and am currently not grieving. But I pull them out periodically and find great comfort in reminding myself of what my grief looked like. I began simply wanting to destroy… or at least render something unrecognizable. I wanted to take the chaos that was churning inside of me and impose it on the world around me. After debating the usual possibilities (shave my head? get tattoos? go skydiving?), I decided to… paint my apartment. And what began as a (feeble) attempt at destruction slowly changed into an act of creation. What started out literally in darkness (I couldn’t sleep and began painting only at night) was found by light. I am beginning to think that, out of all life’s travails, grief comes closest to looking and feeling like pure chaos. Our moments of grief are the ones when we begin to think that the center cannot hold. And yet we have reason to hope. Perhaps we should tell our stories of grief a bit more often. In my experience, the chaos doesn’t win.