Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Contrasts

While having my morning coffee a few days ago a little shower moved through. Despite the downpour I could see in the distance the edge of greyness and a sunrise. Yellow softness pouring itself over the hope of a new day. The contrasts in life add a color and edginess to it that keep things interesting. Like a work of art done in relief it's the differences that reveal the beauty of the subject.

One dimensional flatness is boring in art and most everything else. We all love savory meals followed by the sweetness of some confection. We love the salty and sweet together, the sweet and sour, even the hot and cold. Who can resist warm blackberry cobbler topped by cold vanilla ice cream? In decorating, an eclectic room where modern pieces happily live with antiques is always interesting. In fashion we adore the frilly silk blouse paired with the distressed boyfriend jeans. No matter how exciting the adventure story the author generally makes room for romance. So why is this? I think it must be because when contrasted, the uniqueness of each is revealed. We delight in a sunny day after extended dreariness and how welcome, a rolling thunderstorm on an arid landscape. The opposites of life are clarified by comparison.

Things we love, too, are made more special to us by the fact that they are not the constant. Travel is exciting to us because it is so UN like our normal surroundings, and then the return home made sweet by home itself, momentarily being, the new and different thing. Given ordinary, we want excitement. Given adventure, we want stability. Some might take the cynical view that all of this means that we are simply never happy with what we have, an endless search for the greenest of all grasses. I don't think so. I think the contrasts remind us that we are alive and keep us from falling into a bland oatmeal bowl of existence. Our souls know what they need.

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