I find this very calming. How many shades of grey do you see?
I’ve been getting a bit tired of all the loudness in the world.
All the extremes…
Absolutely everything is extreme. (And yes, I am aware that by its very nature that statement is extreme.)
If everything is extreme, how do we judge and even identify real horribleness? Middle ground disappears. Meaning and context are lost. Details and information? Who needs them? Let’s just jump right into the red zone.
I find myself withdrawing, not from the world, but from the cacophony. Withdrawing into nature, my books, my writing, art, and music. Reaching for my centre in my immediate world. Practicing self-care.
So that I don’t forget who I am and what I believe in.
Apparently the human eye is capable of seeing only about 30 shades of grey.
One of the things you learn, or hope to learn, as a storyteller is to tempt your reader with little nuggets here and there as your story develops. Suggestions. Well-woven hints and clues. The glimpse of something out of the corner of the eye. If you are so blatant and explicit and sledgehammer-ish in chapter two about who your murderer is, you lose suspense, tension, and that wonderful page-turning deliciousness.
And you lose your reader.
You lose the ability to be heard.
The rest becomes noise.
There is an art to nuance and subtlety in good storytelling. I’m working on it.
And so this is something I try to practice in all aspects of my life because without nuance we lose a whole world of richness. It’s something I’ve been thinking about in a big way lately.
The world has become so loud, so opinionated, so polarized, and so un-nuance-like it’s not funny. It makes my eyes cross when I hear folks just naturally (it seems) making the leap to rage and self-righteousness. I have even noticed that if you are calm, and not sufficiently outraged about whatever it is that we need to be outraged about today, there is a criticism about that too. When did reaching for calm, well-researched information, and a measured response become a bad thing.
Hmm… Outrage against the insufficiently outraged. We seem to have strayed into the red zone again.
And apparently the human eye sees more levels of green than any other colour. Should we really say ‘shades of green’ to depict that huge middle area of nuance?
Where are the shades of grey? (or shades of green)
Are we that stuck on the power of the absolute that we won’t listen to anything that suggests a grey area, that suggests muddied waters, and conflicting motivations?
Is there no such thing as true intellectual discourse anymore that covers all sides of an argument?
When did legitimate and constructive criticism become taboo?
What about a reasoned discussion with a goal to improvement and collaboration?
In this world of extremes and culture of outrage, I have to keep reminding myself (because it is too easy to get caught up), that if everything is extreme then something that truly deserves attention will not get it. It will be lost in the rush to blame because we have become habitualized to operating in the red zone.
I truly don’t believe nuance is dead, merely sleeping as the pendulum swings. Or at least that is my hope. We need nuance to bring context, detail, and richness to our important conversations.
And so, I choose to speak softly and embrace nuance and all the truth that sleeps right there in that great yawning space between extremities.