I often hear the phrase, “it is black and white.” Typically this means that whatever the subject up for discussion is clear. There is no misunderstanding and it is exactly what it appears to be. That’s lovely to think there is such a thing but I call bullshit. Black and white as never been clear to me. I can always find the greys and shadows and light. In the guise of different perspectives, different cultures, different beliefs, nothing is black and white or cut and dry. The idioms, one line analogies, and labels we place on things are rarely what it appears to be. It is a shame that we use these so freely and finite that the discussion ends before it begins. The discussion ends before the chance of communication and learning, acceptance and evolution can start.
Relationships have never been black and white for me. I am jealous of those that can look at a relationship and the components and seem to know the best course of action. Do they cheat? Dump them! Do they lie? Walk away! Do they forget to replace the toilet paper roll? Shoot them! Black and white. Cut and dry. I have never been able to do this. I always try to figure out the reason “why” these actions happened. I have been told that is wasting my time. Some say it is wasting other’s time. Perhaps there is something to that but my desire to know the reason people act the way they do is stronger than my quest for more time. Perhaps this will change someday but I doubt it
I am not sure why knowing the reason is so important to me. I think I want to know so I can find my part in it and take responsibility for my part. It could also be just that I like to know what makes people do the things they do. Why do people hurt the ones they love? Why do they do things in secret and risk hurting someone instead of being honest about what they want and need? The answer to these questions is many and as far away from black and white as you can get. Obviously, if there is physical or mental or emotional abuse you should leave. You should always feel safe and protect yourself. That may be the only time it is close to black and white for me.
Relationships are hard and a lot of work. If I put in the time to get to know someone and then something goes south, I want to know why. If for no other reason than to prevent from making the same mistakes again. I can love you, leave you, and still love you depending on the situation. Friends and family can tell you what they would do and suggest your course of action but in the end, you have to find and recognize the shaded parts and make your own decision.
I love this picture because even with the edits to black and white it has shadows, shades, light, and contrast. All the components of the relationship these two folks have. Nothing is black and white with them and they both know that. They both wish it was black and white but they both know it just doesn’t happen that way. They have communicated, been honest with each other, supported each other and there is still nothing black and white about their connection. In some ways, she wishes it is never black and white because the shadows always keep things that can be discovered. The light always shows the brighter side.