colors versus black & white

“I could say that her eyes were as blue as the sea, but that would be an understatement.

Her eyes were more like mirrors to a raging ocean of melancholy and despair, and for some reason, all I wanted to do was go for a swim. “

Noah Geffroyd

==

“A grey curtain unfolded from the clouds and came galloping towards them like a herd of horses.”

Cicada by Moira McKinnon

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Ok. Colors and black & white. Or maybe colors versus black & white.

colors black crayonsWhat do I mean? Try thinking about this.

Who doesn’t like black & white things in their lives?

Who doesn’t like color in their lives?

Yikes. We like tem both, but, colors and black & white seem to have an adversarial role in today’s world.
We put an extremely high value on ‘black & white’ things and thoughts <when most things actually reside in the gray> … and … uh oh … we also put an extremely high value on ‘color’ … being colorful … having a colorful personality or even standing out in some colored way in a metaphorically dreary gray world.

This clashing can be quite uncomfortable.

– Be too black & white and you are stubborn & uncompromising and possibly a little difficult to be around.

color black white business– Be too colorful and you are overbearing & unstable and possibly a little difficult to be around.

– Be too on either end of the spectrum and you will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy.

But here’s the deal <part 1>.

If you are gray, there is no edge.

<note: and edges define shit>

But here’s the deal <part 2>.

Black, white or color … choose one or all … in doing so you will always be too much of something for someone.

 <note: yikes … what if you want to be just the right amount?>

Suffice it to say that Life doesn’t make it easy for you with this whole color & black & white thing..

Shit.

We don’t make it easy on ourselves.

We seek both black & white as well as color.

We naturally want some things to be clear cut – black & white. We naturally dislike ambiguity. We naturally like certainty. We naturally are uncomfortable with certainty.

And yet we enjoy colors.

Uhm. And yet each of us has a different ‘liked’ color palette. There are those who love fire engine red, those who love pink and those who love scarlet. And those are only the ones who like versions of red for god’s sake.

I imagine we sense we just cannot win.

I imagine we covet both and in coveting both, and having everyone covet both, we end up owning not enough black & white OR color.

Well. How maddening does that make life?

In fact … conversely … how brave does that make someone who chooses black & white … versus choosing some color?

Shit.

I don’t know.

What I do know is we are in a tug of war daily between black & white and color. And I do know that when faced with a tug a war of choice … it ain’t no place for a coward.

That may sound harsh.

—–

“I am not a place for cowards.”

sheep blackCaitlyn Siehl

But it also sounds … well … true.

Facing some version of a Life harsh truth I sense.

Facing some version of a character choice … and standing by that choice.

Yikes. That’s the hard choice isn’t it? A character choice. Because it is not really an accomplishment … at least in a tangible way.

Do we stand with black & white or do we stand with color?

The outcome of the choice is obvious — standing there is more a reflection of character.

Ok. Let me make a point on black & white and color and character and the fact it really has nothing to do with smarts <or intelligence> but rather resiliency. I could have called it ‘conviction of self’ but instead I think I’ll focus on resiliency.

There is a book <“How Children Succeed — Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character” by Paul Tough > that argues what actually matters most with success is character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism and self-control.

Yup. Success may not be dictated by just intelligence <or ‘learning’>.

Yikes. So this may mean that ability to cognitively learn and intelligence, which has been the prize and what we measure the most, doesn’t cultivate the most productive person. Instead it appears that molding, early on, a generation with a backbone, with dedication, with tenacity, with resilience, forms a person who is more likely to keep working, keep pushing, keep failing, and learning to get back up again and just keep moving <not quitting>.

Well. That certainly sounds like someone who is more likely to be successful in and with Life. And it certainly sounds like someone who can not only choose between black & white and color, but have the fortitude to stand by it … and adapt when appropriate.

Look. The reality in life is we are always choosing between black & white things and color things … while we covet both. I imagine that is one of the fortunate, and unfortunate, aspects of life.

And reality is also that in an ever-changing world and continuously evolving world what was black & white may become a color, conversely, some color becomes black & white.

And, yet, while we covet both we would be amazingly frickin’ happy if that which was black & white remained black and white … and color stayed color.

But, shit, that’s not the way the world works.

“Color can do anything that black-and-white can.”

=

Vincente Minnelli

I don’t really have a point today other than to point out:

<a> we all covet black & white things – and value them

<b> we all covet color things – and value them

<c> we are rarely aligned on either what is black & white, or appropriate colored, nor aligned on the appropriate value.

And, while this drives us all nuts, we are resilient enough to not only to continue to cover both, value both … and hold on to both as tight as we can when we find one pleasing to our mind’s eye.

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Written by Bruce