11 July 2013

On Coloring Like a Second Grader with an 8-Pack of Crayons

I love seeing kids' pictures where they color the top inch of the paper blue to represent the sky.  Since the sky is "up there," they represent it "up there."  It marks an important milestone in the child's development to bring the blue all the way down to the horizon and to know the sky is not just "up there" but "all around," too.

It's so easy to be doltish in much the same way in all areas of life.  How much of our personal and collective suffering is based on a much-too-simplistic rendering of reality?  How many times do we fail to see the spread of things, their fullness, their complexity, all their detail and nuance and shading? 

I find I can grab hold of one aspect of a situation, one facet of someone's personality, some tiny detail of an issue, and work it like a puppy with a slipper until it's utterly unrecognizable and rendered into shreds.  Only much too late do I realize that that aspect was one of many, the person wonderfully complex and interesting, the detail trivial.

The 64-pack is not even enough to capture the wonder and awe and worry and ache of the world, of our lives, of each other, much less the 8-pack.  And forget about coloring skills; it's already been laid out in magnificence right before our eyes.  All we need do is look.

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