Thursday, January 26, 2006

Its in the contrast

Its in the pain that I understand the relief.

Visualize for a second everything is one color. Everything is white. You can't make any objects out because there is no shadow, no grey. Life is a blank sheet of paper in front of your face. Life is without distinction. Only through multiple colors do we see anything....not even two colors would do it. You need all the variations and shades in between to give depth. The more shades, the richer the colors the better the picture.
So is life. The atrocities against humanity, the heartbreak, the pain of life and death, the hallow sadness of having some we loved ripped from our lives gives us color and depth. It it through my exposure to the contrasts of Nobel ideals that I have come to understand what love is or what peace and happiness means to me.

How is peace to be defined without war, bloodshed, pain psychical and mental? Would you appreciate it? Would it mean anything?

How is love defined without tears, heart-break sacrifice, loss? Would you appreciate the ones you love as much if your time together wasn't so short?

How is happiness defined without knowing misery, pain, hurt, loneliness?

Without the contrast without the experience life is a blank piece if paper in front of your eyes...

I am going to venture a rather large conjecture here that the world uses more rhetoric and cares less about the extremes of ideals like love, peace and happiness because we experience the world more and more from a secondhand vantage point, life and the suffering of others is just a blurb on CNN, laughter as conversation topic at a party, love as a porn clip we can just shut off.

It is no mistake that great artists are tormented souls, that noble peace prize winners have waded in blood and suffering, that interesting people and leaders have often faced incredibly difficult heart wrenching obstacles.

If we refuse to participate in life we will never experience the contrasts that make us appreciate the love, peace and happiness that makes us fulfilled. We become one dimentional. We become to borrow an expression paper lives.

So do me a favor in the spirit of fight club punch someone in the face, chase that dream, shut off the TV, love that women(or man)....just do us all a favor and live, taste it, touch it, see it, speak it, listen to it, smell it, feel it, experience it:)

PS If any of you want to do all of the above I have a huge vat of baby oil, some rubber sheets and some free time on Sunday....let me know!!!


dawnmarie said...

gosh darn, I'm um, busy on Sunday...

one of my favorite quotes is: "Without suffering, there would be no compassion."

Rocketstar said...

I'll pass on the oil fun.

SHIT! I just stubbed my toe! Damn white world.

Great post, I agree. So the next question is, what is this going to manifest?

Our arms length, voyeuristic view of what is all around us, how is that going to chnage us, because I only see it getting more and more slanted in the white no shadow or contrast world.

We jump from the hurricane to the mining disaster to the missing child to the next disaster and really never "fell" the reality of the situation.

Brian in Mpls said...

What I truly fear that it will manifest itself as great war or perhaps a genecide of epic proportions. We move further and further away from the appeaciation of life in all of its forms. As we move towards a paper life society we are more and more like sheep to the slaughter.

dawnmarie said...

You two are depressing.

Brian in Mpls said...

Hey I wanted to wrestle in baby oil!!!! but NOOOO

Matthew Anderson said...

I love the concept of this blog post!

In my opinion though, not everything requires exact experience in order to appreciate it. In other words, if you're a creative person, you can usually scale expectations based on previous, similar experience.

For example, I don't fell that I need to actually fight a war to appreciate peace without it. I'm a creative person and, more importantly, we've got history to document the results. I remember what it felt like to get in fights in grade school. I've experienced ruined relationships and distrust. From all of this, I can then extrapolate what war is like and; therefore, don't want to participate it one.

In this situation, I believe the actual act of non-participation actual strengthens the appreciation of the contrasting emotion in me.

Of course, the important item of note is that I still participate in the emotion of the situation, even if I don't participate in the act itself. And I think this is were the world is currently failing. Especially here in the US.

To your point, rather than experiencing, rather than imagining, and rather than being creative - the world has become complacent. But I don't think it is strictly due to the vantage point. I think it has more to do with what the world is CHOOSING to experience. You see, no one is forced to do much anymore. Yet, instead of appreciating that as a gift; a way for you to do more of what you actually want to do, people have simply taken it for granted.

Brian in Mpls said...

Good points Matt.

I especially love the fact that that you use that the world is Choosing what to participate in. I like that this places responsibility on the shoulders of people and highlights that we are doing it to ourselves.

To take the Mine explosion example I don't have to loss somebody in an explosion to be able to feel empathy for the miners family, but I do have to have bonds with other human beings to understand what it would mean to loss some I loved.

I would also venture that our creative process is tied to experience. I can only extrapolate so far beyond what I have been exposed to or experienced...being creative in my mind is the fundamental aspect of experience.
Creativity = the ability to try something new, different. It is curiosity it is experience experimentation in action.

At least I think...I may have to ponder that further