Lately I’ve been editing my pictures in black and white. I’m always drawn to a photo in black and white. There’s something appealing in the darkness and shadow. The starkness and simplicity in that initial glance. In the quiet that is black and white. I wonder what that says about me?
There are intricacies and detail that are missed in a color photo. It’s easy to get lost in the seduction of the color; easier to simply see the beauty in the surface and move on to the next thing clamoring for my attention.
“The world is in color, you have to work at black and white.”
There’s a lot of truth in that statement. It’s so much easier to see the beauty in color. To linger on the surface. It doesn’t require a lot from us. A lot like the question we always ask, “How are you?” Typically the answer is, “I’m fine.” And most of the time we are content to leave it at that. It keeps us out of the shadows. Out of the darkness.
“Colour is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.”
How many of us use color to hide behind? To distract the people that care about us? Even those that don’t. Sometimes, especially those that don’t. In the trappings of our every day lives; the things we wear, the cars we drive, the homes we decorate. If everything is beautiful on the outside, isn’t that a reflection of what’s on the inside?
It very rarely is.
I’m guilty of being satisfied with “I’m fine.” And equally guilty of using that as my go to answer. I don’t want anyone traipsing around in the darkness that I have so carefully concealed behind pretty, painted walls. Walls that are there to keep you out of my heart. What if you get hurt? What if I do?
What if we let people behind those walls? Would it really be that bad? Certainly it would be scary. Walking around in the darkness often is. But how much beauty are we missing out on by staying on the surface awash in all that color? In all that distraction. All that noise.
“If God is everywhere, God is everywhere.”
In the shadows. In the darkness. Behind those beautiful walls we’ve constructed. My prayer is not that what’s in front of me will change, but that the depth of my seeing will.
Here’s to tearing down those walls and taking a walk in the dark…
A Wish in Black and White
“Colour is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.” Kim Hunter
“To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.” Andri Cauldwell
“The most colorful thing in the world is black and white, it contains all colors and at the same time excludes all.” Vikrmn
“In black and white there are more colors than color photograph, because you are not blocked by any colors so you can use your experienced, your knowledge, and your fantasy, to put colors into black and white.” Anders Petersen
“If you stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.” Rilke
“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me.” Rilke
“I wish you courage, to turn and face the wilderness, and to raise a glass, confident of this: if God is everywhere, God is everywhere. He’s at the end of the questions we’re afraid to ask, and he is in the empty places that threaten to swallow us whole. He is even in the wilderness.” Deidra Riggs
“The world is in color, you have to work at black and white.” Andrew Maclean
“I don’t ask for the sights in front of me to change, only the depths of my seeing.” Mary Oliver