Monday, April 25, 2005

greyscaling

The world in black and white is infinitely beautiful. The contrast between darkness and light, the expressions of the people frozen in that second for all eternity, the way the light reflects off glassware. Everything is highlighted with intensity, and everything is all the more beautiful for it.

Everyone talks about the beauty of childhood. How the world was good, the grass grew greener, and butterflies flew in pairs around their heads like halos. Children see the world in black and white, defined along those strict lines. You were either cowboy or indian, wicked witch or fairy godmother, hideously evil or angelically good.

It makes children see the world as sanctified, and it also makes them very cruel.

Then we all grew older. And the world wasn't all merry and shiny anymore. Disneyland had been pulled from under us. And somewhere along the line, black and white began to lose its focus.

Things weren't bad or good anymore. And there were so many things to try. So many things to explore. So many things to live for, so many things to die for. The intensity of the world we saw seemed to have been internalised, the beauty sucked into the vortex that was us, transformed into the intensity and the beauty of emotion.

The beauty of the world outside was lesser, the intensity inside so much deeper.

We began to realise the world wasn't black and white, that everything was in fact, greyscale. So many more details to notice, so many mitigating reasons behind a choice.

We began to draw moral lines we would never cross. Draw ourselves a bigger playing field. And then we found out they didn't really work.

And that people who had crossed these lines, friends or yourself, really had reasons, entire stories behind their actions. Humanising aspects. No longer were they lofty ideals to be upheld, but ideals that simply hadn't worked out for these people. People who knew it wasn't "right", it simply happened anyway. People who knew it was "wrong", but did it because there were bigger "rights" involved.

Yes and No were dissolving before our eyes, leaving behind their stillborn child of maybe.

And with maybe, the world burst forth in technicolour glory. Even more details, as if intensity of emotions pent up within a tiny human body seemed to compress itself and burst forth with the outward visual expression we had missed since childhood, cocooned within us to return more beautiful than ever.

And yet the most beautiful things are beautiful because they are intriguing. Something sad, tragic, mysteriously hinting at something. That beauty can only be born of great sadness. And it seems that the world in technicolour is beautiful in its detail, but also its sadness.

A sadness of swirling uncertainties. Of 'yes's and 'no's, of rights and wrongs. Of reasons and excuses. Of understanding that behind everything seems to be an archive of reasons, that behind every action lies an ocean of experiences that led to that final choice.

Some people try to go back to the days of black and white. The world is in colour but they force it back, to evenly divide the world, to allow their decisions to be made so much more easily.

And there are those who are lost in the colour, too lost among the fushias and the rubies to notice the larger masterpiece, convinced they have found everything in the diamond-like reflection of the ocean or the wonder of the ever-changing sky.

And yet, everything moves along as it always has. Our line of vision the only outlook we have of the world, ever changing as we constantly change courses and lines of thought.

LISTENING TO: Frou Frou- Let Go

(ok ok, I'll enable comments)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

mmm i like. nothing is ever black and white. but the beauty of the world can become greater again when it's fuelled by the intensity that we feel inside

clint said...

comments! woohoo!! look forward to all sorts of inane jabber from me.

this b&w vs greyscale vs technicolour morality thingy is interesting. makes me wonder what got you thinking about it.