Sunday, November 18, 2012

Black and white

It's a complicated world and we live in complicated times.  Sometimes it can all feel a little overwhelming and leave me yearning for a simpler life,  a black and white world where the choices are very clear and offer no chance for confusion.  In the real world there are nuances and subtleties to every question but in my imaginary black and white world the choices would be stark - it's right or it's wrong, good or bad, yes or no, without any room for doubt or confusion.  Maybe not every one would agree but at least the choices would be clear, black and white with no pesky shades of gray to complicate things.  Such a world would certainly be simpler but not better, I think - it's the shades of gray and all of the imaginable colors in life that let us be the individuals that we are, each special in our own unique way.  So as much as I like simplicity, I'm not really wishing for a black and white world, but I know somebody whose world is black and white but still manages to experience life with all of its infinite possibilities to the fullest.

I've written about Andrea Carla Michaels before and I've told you about her passion for words, but today I learned something about her that surprised me:  Andrea's dream-world is literally black and white.  In her own words, "...If they made me say you can only do one thing, it would be to make crosswords".  Crossword puzzles, it should be noted, are constructed in grids of squares that are black and white, so Andrea's fantasy is bi-chromatic in that sense but I hasten to point out that a well constructed puzzle, such as Andrea herself routinely delivers, is a study in nuance and subtlety of language so her "black and white" world is in reality much more complex than it would appear.  But don't just take my word for it, here's Andrea to explain it in her own words:

How can you not love someone with that much passion for what she does?  If I had one wish to be granted, it would be that my sons would find something in life that makes them feel like Andrea does about her black and white constructions.  When you have that kind of passion for what you do all of life's myriad complexities become tolerable, because loving who you are and what you do is all that really matters, isn't it?  It seems pretty black and white to me.

If you read this far you deserve a reward, so here's Three Dog Night to tell you why "black and white" really matters:

This is the 200th post on this blog and in my opinion it may be the best one so I have to say, "Thank you, Andrea - you are an inspiration".

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