Monday, February 8, 2010

BLACK & WHITE, MOSTLY

I have never understood life’s complexities - love, hate, war, peace, success, failure. My limited brain focuses on absolutes, and while I can see the outline of supposed gray areas, I get a headache trying to fathom them. I am too simple for my own good.

One of my junior high school friends is a super intellectual, author of books and incisive major national magazine articles that have helped shape U.S. political thinking. He knows how to walk the talk in the gray zone.

I knew another person who is a math whiz. She can take the absolutes of that discipline and see the flexibility that nevertheless exists. Her brilliance and way of thinking mimic Einstein’s theories.

When I was much younger, there were those around me “deeply in love.” That initially euphoric state morphed into practicality with enough magic to offer some lasting storybook romance. It is a language difficult to understand if you can’t wade into the necessary gray areas of life. 

In sports, there is all this talk of absolute victory, yet the subtlety involved in getting there means some pretty good smarts must first be employed, a calculated run through the gray zone.

Yet being simple has benefits. You can offer bon mots that sound good, even connect to utterly deep meaning, if you are not required to discuss at length. It’s  a form of “twittering” on the Internet. You offer “tweaks” and move on.

And living simply means you don’t question too much – you take so much on faith, so you can exist, so you can survive. It’s fine as long as you don’t have too much time on your hands and feel the pull to look into the gray area. Then you need an aspirin.

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